Emirates NBD launches anti-phishing campaign in collaboration with Dubai Police 

Bank leads efforts to educate public on fraud and online scams.

Dubai, UAE: As part of its commitment to safe, secure banking, Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region, in partnership with Dubai Police joined hands with Leo Burnett, Dubai  to launch a UAE-wide anti-phishing awareness campaign to educate the public on how to identify and protect themselves against highly deceptive tactics fraudsters employ. 

The public service campaign is part of Emirates NBD’s ongoing initiatives to remind customers although fraudsters might be sitting miles away, the internet brings them dangerously closer to us. It urges people to never share their password or CVV, never trust unverified vaccine registrations links, and never wire money or make a donation without proper verification. Because when they do not verify the source, they make a fraudster’s job easy.

The heart of the campaign is a shareable, social satire comedy film ‘How To Grow Rich During The Pandemic’, showcasing the lavish lifestyle of a fictional fraudster named James Jefferson playing different roles as he impersonates legitimate organisations via various means in order to steal sensitive information, with the serious message “Don’t Make the Fraudster’s Job Easy. The film was accompanied by a stealth social media campaign following the outrageous life of James Jefferson via his Instagram handle @jjj_jefferson who was finally revealed as a fraudster.

The new effort follows the success of Emirates NBD's previous #secureyouraccount campaign video with awareness lyrics amended to the tune of a popular and catchy pop song that went viral as it engaged customers in a fun, memorable manner, demonstrating the positive power of social media and humour in raising awareness of serious issues.

Emirates NBD has committed a major portion of its AED 1 billion digital transformation investment towards continuing to strengthen the bank's robust infrastructure, digital processes and analytics, along with creating programmes, products and solutions that provide customers with increased protection as they carry out digital banking transactions. In addition, the bank conducts regular email and SMS campaigns as well as messages across its social media platforms to help customers recognise new phishing and vishing scams by fraudsters and stay alert. Useful tips on safeguarding personal information and safe banking practices are prominently displayed on the bank’s website along with frequent pop-up reminders on the bank’s digital platforms.

Phishing and online scams are one of the most common and most dangerous internet threats facing individuals and organisations today[1]. Phishing is a type of attack carried out to extract personal information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive data from victims to hack into their accounts and steal their funds or resources, or cause disruption and reputational harm. 

The global banking industry continues to face a growing number of cybercrimes in terms of both frequency and sophistication, with the average annualised cost of cybercrime for financial services companies increasing to US$18.5 million in 2019[2]. Overall, cybercrime is predicted to inflict damages totalling $6 trillion globally in 2021 and cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025[3]. In 2020, various agencies in UAE have cautioned the community and members of the public about an increase in the online scams since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Dubai Police said: “Dubai Police continues to intensify its outreach efforts to strengthen financial security and prevent identity theft among users of online banking. This is in addition to our ongoing security awareness campaigns targeted at all segments of society. We remain committed to continue playing an active role in enhancing security awareness among the public and urge banking consumers to take all precautions and measures to remain protected against fraud.” Al Jallaf also praised Emirates NBD’s leading role in spreading awareness and protecting customers from phishing attacks.

“As the UAE’s leading bank, we are at the forefront of efforts in the UAE to tackle banking fraud and cybercrime on all fronts,” Abdulla Qassem, Group Chief Operating Officer, Emirates NBD, said. “Fraudsters typically target individuals with various online scams to manipulate them into handing over account credentials or personal identity information in order to steal their funds. Human error and greed remains the biggest vulnerability to such scams and awareness is our best defense. Our latest campaign aims to educate and engage consumers to join hands with banks and law enforcement in our collective efforts against fraud, while also bringing them a small dose of creative humour to make this very serious social message memorable.”

The UAE authorities and Emirates NBD urge members of the public to report suspicious links or emails related to their bank accounts to their respective bank’s call centre and Dubai Police. Emirates NBD customers can contact the bank’s call centre on 600 540000 and Dubai Police through their website: www.ecrime.ae