Don’t get duped

Bahrainis are being targeted with a new type of online fraud using Facebook in the Kingdom, it has emerged. The novel method involves scammers circulating a fake news story about high ranking Bahraini personalities, political figures, and celebrities. The stories revolve around money-making opportunity rather than an actual product.

They claim that joining their program will guarantee a generous monthly income. Upon visiting the website, the user is persuaded to pay an amount as ‘investment’.  But the dream ends soon as the ‘investor’ realizes that he/ she has been just another scam victim. Cyber-crime experts have warned against trusting such websites. “There are ads that come based on your geo-location. If I am in Bahrain, ads will speak volumes about how a Bahraini person made so much money an so forth,” said CTM360 CEO Mirza Asrar Baig. He is a cyber-security and scam detection expert. 

“For sure, the news story will be from a fake news site and this is called binary options. “People are lured into investing money to which they think is an investment product. But it is not. Most of them are gambling products,” said Asrar Baig. Facebook is rampant with many such stories which might also sometime asks to like a page for win tickets or free business-class flights being given away. All these are simply examples of convincing scams of Facebook, where fraudsters have mocked up pages in search of unwitting users.

The stories most probably appear in blogs published by the scammers. It starts with a piece of false information or a clickbait headlines saying that a Bahraini business tycoon or a Bahraini Minister is giving away money to the public. The news story then turns into an elaborate sales pitch to sell the scam product. 

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