Arab News – Criminals in countries across the world are increasingly targeting Saudi citizens and businesspeople with fraudulent offers for real estate, cars and domestic workers.
This is according to Ahmad Al-Ansari, a specialist in security, who said this was happening because of political and economic changes in certain countries, including Turkey, Greece, the Philippines, India, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan, according to a report in a local publication recently.
He said that an especially problematic country was Turkey where there have been several reports of Saudis being robbed of their money through fake real estate deals. These were mostly in Ankara involving bogus companies, or those known for criminal actions.
The Saudi embassy in Ankara has issued a warning to citizens to take precautionary measures and to call embassy officials before embarking on any business activity in Turkey, Al-Ansari was quoted as saying.
Criminals in Greece have been fleecing Saudis by offering luxury cars for sale at low prices on the phone or through the Internet. Once citizens pay the money, these criminals disappear.
The Saudi embassy in Athens has issued many statements warning citizens of these operations and said anyone seeking to do business either in Greece or Cyprus must call the Foreign Ministry before doing so.
Al-Ansari said that the Philippines has become known for criminal gangs operating extensive fraud operations around the recruitment of domestic workers. The Saudi embassy registered more than 400 fraudulent operations in 2015, with Saudis losing up to SR400,000.
He said Saudi citizens have also lost money in India. This includes the case of a Saudi businessman who has been imprisoned because he refused to be blackmailed by criminal gangs.
He said there are also gangs operating in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco that have been using women in operations so that they can blackmail Saudi men for large sums of money.
Al-Ansari advised Saudis not to carry large amounts of cash on them or wear jewelry that might attract the attention of criminals. They should also not walk around alone in markets.

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