The day I won 200,000 dirhams – yeah right!

I hate it when the doorbell and telephone ring at the same time. Occasionally my children demand attention at that very moment as well, but thankfully, this time it was just the doorbell and the cell-phone. As soon I got to the phone after checking the door, I was in for a surprise.

“Hi Ma’am!” said a bright voice.

“Yes?” I replied.

“This is Samir from the Etisalat office. We would like to inform you that you have just won AED 200,000 in a lucky draw. Your sim card is the lucky winner out of hundreds of thousands of entries,” he said enthusiastically.

Etisalat, as most people know is the telecommunications company in the UAE and like most phone companies, they also keep having the odd lucky draw. But being the typically street-smart Pakistani that I am, I replied exasperatedly, “Yeah, so?”

The man took this reaction of mine like a personal insult and said, in an almost desperate tone, “Ma’am, you’ve just won 200,000 Dirhams! You can collect the money at the nearest Etisalat office if you just take down your gift number. Now can I have your good name please?”

“Tell me the location of the office first, then I’ll tell you my name,” I said half-interested, in spite of myself. He gave me a number that he insisted should be the same as the one written in fine-print on my sim-card, because apparently, my sim was ‘the lucky winner’.

“Switch off your phone, take your sim out and match the number written on it with the number I have given you. If they are the same, you are lucky one. Then call me back,” he advised.

It all sounded quite pretty, save for the fact that ‘Samir from Etisalat’ was calling from his personal cell-phone. Since when did companies start telling their staff to make corporate from their own cell-phones? Plainly out of curiosity, I switched off my phone and matched the number the man had given me with the one on my sim. The number he had given me was incomplete, but the digits that he had supplied tallied with mine. Sure that this was a scam, I dialled the number of the actual Etisalat office.

When I was finally connected to a customer-service representative, I said, “I received a call from someone claiming to be an Etisalat employee. Are you guys having some kind of a lucky draw for 200,000 Dirhams?” The man on the other end, presumably an Arab (judging by th accent – lahja) seemed quite appalled at the idea of handing over 200,000 Dirhams to someone for no good reason. He confirmed my suspicion that it was indeed a scam and promised to take action against the person who had tried to dupe me, after taking down his number.

Just goes to show you have people trying to fool others in practically every country, but I do hope action will be taken. Imagine, if Etisalat actually called the guy:

Etisalat: Hello, This is So-n-so from Etisalat

Trickster: That’s right. This is Samir from Etisalat.

E: NO I’m from Etisalat.

T: No I’m from Etisalat! In fact we have a promotion, just check your sim card…. Err.. you mean you’re from Etisalat – the real one?

E: Until further notice your number has been blocked due to undesirable activity. Thank you. Good bye.

ME: evil grin + dark laugh.

Conclusion: Fun as it may sound, the idea that you won 200,000 dirhams is a big huge scam. You’re getting nothing, nada, zilch. Except perhaps a dirty look from your spouse who says you’ve been wasting too much time exploring your phone and sim and searching the net for that one confirmation that you are the proud owner of some cool, hard cash. So please remember: THIS IS A SCAM!

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40 thoughts on “The day I won 200,000 dirhams – yeah right!

  1. …and guess what, a lot of these calls are made by Pakistani’s! . I have received such calls from Dubai,Pakistan….and i just laugh! The guys in their heavily accented Punjabi urdu sound morons the minute they say hello…..why are so many Pakistani’s involved in sham business?

    I am an Indian and would love to hear from you.

      • I just received call from someone telling me exact thing. And to claim the prize i must buy du recharge worth 650 then deposit it to alfardan exchange. Thank u to ur blog, it makes people aware of such scam.


    • im really sad about the same inciedent that happened today i just threw away 3500 Dhs and got nothing. To everybody who read this be aware of such scams

    • My dears, It starts again, I just WON 200 000 AED from DU.
      Be carefull of Number 0558572977.
      Tell me, how they know the number of your SIM card?
      I started to think like you, how it is possible, that they are calling from private number?
      Finally he asked for my nationality, he does not know my country, I am from Czech Republic, even if I told him European Union… He thought I am from Kennya… I am going to Du and give them his number, hope, they will do they work…
      Have a lovely day.

      • Yes Sarka !! That’s a Scam
        There asses need to be busted !! Go ahead n report the number.
        However, recovering the money could be real pain in the ass as they don’t have harsh laws for these offences.

  2. Dear Etisalat i received a phone call from a man saying i have won 200 000 dirhams and he asked me to call him back and he gave me the last five digits of my sim card, then he said i must buy etisalat recharge voucher for 1500dirhams and give him the voucher number ,he also informed me to stay on hold while i go and buy the voucher, i thought it was suspicious and still on hold i checked on the internet if etisalat is running such promotions only to find a lot of warning scams, please people be careful……..

  3. Exactly the same experience today for me! Mustafa from etisalat financial center offer me to pay 2750 dh of etisalat recharge to win 200.000 Dh … No comment very good story with a lot of detail like : you will receive your money from sheik … From DIB !
    Be careful this scam is still running !

  4. It is the same all over the globe. Some organisation in South Africa (about 15.000 km from my frontdoor) promised me a large amount of US dollars if I should cooperate via my bank account to transfer milions of dolars to bank accounts somewhere in Africa. My share… up to 15% per transaction. It was a very profitable business. Nowbody knows… except you, dear readers, that the Burj Dubai Tower is mine.
    Do not further publish this without my permission on any blog or other web ;-)

  5. Hahah… Yeap, still running…i just receive the call…but i knew what is it all about. I had a great fun with him…i told him: Yea, that’s great…thanks, but i don’t have any money with me, my wallet is in my friends place…and he was trying to get any amount from me…and at the end he asked, ok how much u can pay for wasel top up card?…50aed i said..ok, ok, u can pay the rest when u come to collect the money… I said, bro…u allready spent 50 for this call, can’t u see there’s no point with me….find someone else..hahaha
    i think he just want to practice his english :)

  6. Very amusing Mehmudah…. between us, I and my daughter have won nearly half a dozen plots and thousands of dollars in lucky draws….. but for the plot it is always the last date and we have to deposit any amount ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 in so and so bank account immediately…. or fr the lucky draw you have to give away sensitive information about yr bank account so that the money is transferred to it…. Old wine, new bottle! They keep on inventing new ways to trick naive people.. thank God that we are too Pakka Pakistanis to be hoodwinked easily!!!

  7. today i got a call from 0563651214. he saying i selected as a lucky winner and the worth of 2,200dhs i got.

    he given me a 5 digit number and asked me to check weather it is on your sim or not. he called me after 5 min , asked me “did u check that or not”/

    I asked him the address of etisalat for enquiry but

    he cut my call.

  8. oh than i should thank God as this moron had said 100,000 dirhams ,less chances of heart failure hehe. anyway when he said you have won this amount i said good so what you want me to do? he said nothing madam (it was some pathan bhai sahab) said we would like you to come and collect your cash i simply replied keep that in your pocket you need that more than me..surely he felt insulted and even before he could say something else i hung up on him,,silly losers these guys are, got nothing better to do with their lives.

  9. I experienced the same scam today from +971-506-903-705 , for 200,000 aed, transfered through Western Union in my own country. He tried to make things fast, so prompted to act immediately in whatever he was saying. The story matches with all of the above descriptions. Take care.

  10. Great informative post..The same thing is happening here in California .( you won a cruise give us your credit card no.)THank you for liking my post A letter to my son. Be well Mehmuda..Best regards.jalal

  11. I remember telling one guy to keep the money for himself and buy a ticket to haj to make tawbah. And the second call I got, I told him to keep the money and send it to his mother and sisters back in pakistan.

    It’s funny how silly their plan is to scam people. The first thing they say is “Hello madam, urdu or arabi or english?”

  12. I just received a call regarding this scam.
    Funny when they talk. Not so professional.
    If you wanna bully a scammer. Here’s one of them. number : +971508495258

  13. Hi just received a call from these tricksters , mobile number +971567942512.
    They used heavy Pakistani accent and broken English.
    Guy named himself Abdul Aziz (Manager – promotions) …lol!!! and then there was his assistant Mohd. Faisal (Who called himself as Floor Supervisor – …I do not know what a floor supervisor is doing in promotions) gave Emp. code as 7082.
    Guess what I had a Secret Lucky coupon number (0010120) and file number (7779388) too !
    At the end they were quite angry and agitated with my questions as I asked all the data.
    I have forwarded the case to Etisalat now for their action..

  14. Yesterday i got a call from 0505205674. he saying i selected as a lucky winner and the worth of 2,000dhs i got. Today called him he said me AED 200,000 in a lucky draw. Your sim card is the lucky winner out of hundreds of thousands of entries,”he gave me one number and check your sim (8997103) i am really shocked .same number as my sim . i have two connection i checked other one also that was also same….ha…ha…i called again but he didn’t pick my call…. everybody who read this be aware of such scams…
    Thank you

  15. today i received call from a guy informing me i won etisalat a lucky winner for amount 5 hundred thousand,i got sack i know this scam he try me to ask some question to draw money to my account and bank details ,and he say my sim pin number correctly ,i ask to him why etisalat did not send any massage about this how i can belive u stupit i tell to complaind to police and scared him disconect my mobile, people s aware from this bloakships be care full dont u give ur banks details

  16. Guys Beware of the fraudsters!!! they are big time suckers I lost 7k Dhs.. I feel like bamboozled.
    These bastards will burn in a hell….

  17. I also got same kind of call. Caller introduced himself as etisalat staff and asked me to buy evouchers worth 2500 dhs to get prize money of 500000 dhs. I figured out it shoud be a fake and cut the call.

  18. I Just received a call from 0566640213 saying he is from Etisalat and that I won 500,000 UAE Dirhams. I knew it’s a scam. So I told the caller, I don’t need your 500,000 AED, I have 100 Million AED with me. Then he hanged the phone. Hahaha!!!

  19. I also had the same experience just today, almost hooked. beware of this number 0501297789 he even gave me his land line number and name 026811100 his name is Mohamed

  20. Hilarious as it may sim but I am also receiving calls but from “fake” DU staffs telling the same that I won a lottery and blah-blah and that I have to collect me cash to some Western Union branch. He even ask where am I from and what is my religion. He’s a Pakistani guy based on his accent – 0529472001. Please beware!

  21. Exactly same happend to me Just now I got a call from one mobile, syaing that I have won 200,000 AED and he gave me one number to check on the back of Sim,

    It was the registration first number 7 numbers

    It matched I called him back he gave the mobile to another person, and then they asked me to buy du 1200 Recharge vouchers

    I denied to buy like this just with a phone call. And the story ended.. Pl be careful

    I got cal from this number: +971 522629457

  22. Hi……Today i got the same call, and i am such a idiot, i followed what he asked.
    Ended up with loss of 8300 AED. Can anyone suggest what to do now. Any way to recover money.

  23. I am so upset, today I also got a call from this number 0561961694-FARAZ and his boss, MOhamed Salman Ibrahim, saying they are working from Etisalat and this call is recorded, then after they said, my etisalat number won AED200,000. That I may take the money from Al Ansari Exchange. Then afterwards they will ask you to buy 1,000 etisalat recharge card, required for you to received the price you won in Al Ansari. I told them if I won, should be you will not ask anything from me back. I told them, this scam and I will report you to the police. Please be aware…

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