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Cautionary Notice Issued by CBO.

Muscat, Apr 9 (ONA) --- The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) would wish to draw the attention of the public to the number of suspicious financial activities and attempts of fraud. Such attempts are being made inventively, in different ways, employing subtle means and the following would indicate the modus operandi could be adopted in some of these cases, according to the CBO statement. Certain fictitious and suspicious companies and individuals, from outside the Sultanate, are contacting Omani Citizens/ Expatriates through internet and faxes claiming that they won lotteries/ draws, or offering them some suspicious profitable transactions and trading deals in returns of assisting them in greeting access or some advantage of banking and financial facilities available in the Sultanate. Speculative dealing in foreign currencies. Under the prevailing laws and regulations such activity is among those already prohibited in Oman. And the So called dealers/ brokers offering these services, under what is dubbed Trade Representation/ Agency activity on behalf of institutions based abroad, are not, in the strict sense, Licensed by the CBO. The use of fake/ stolen cheques drawn on banks abroad and the subsequent sale of these instruments to unsuspecting members of the public, after endorsement and at a discount, with the promise that the new holder (alleged payee) would be able to encash these at local banks realizing full value, thereby, assuring them that they would make a good profit. Fraudulent promise of loans in advance being made available against the surety of bank securities and/ or fixed deposits. The offer to deposit substantial transfers from fictitious names/ accounts from abroad, either to the credit of their (Omani/ Expatriate) bank accounts or the credit of companies in local banks, with the added promise that the respective account holders would, thereby, earn substantial sums, by way of commissions. Dealing with local banks indirectly, through unauthorized persons who impress that they conduct normal banking transactions, which, incidentally, also include the issues of fraudulent securities and the offer of fictitious investments abroad. Dealings with unauthorized Money Remitters (both individuals and establishments) who affect money transferring overseas through the means of Telegraphic Transfers, Pre-signed and post-dated cheques, Cash Invoices, etc. Some institutions/individuals under different names, such as "portfolios" and so on, have surfaced lately to carry out the business of collecting funds from Omani citizens and residents for the purpose of investment in different financial instruments, such as stocks and bonds, as well as speculation in foreign currencies and similar financial activities against predetermined interest rates paid monthly or according to the agreement. CBO finds it timely to repeat its advice that members of the public should, in their own interests, be cautious and not to deal with strangers and unauthorized entities/ persons. They should confine all their financial dealings to licensed/ regulated institutions. In case of any doubt, they should seek the advices of their banks and professionals in all aspects including the accredition, legality and reliability of the persons/ institutions offering the products and services. They should report any unauthorized and suspicious approaches immediately to the Royal Oman Police. --- Ends/SH/ AH/ KH

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Publication:Oman News Agency
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Apr 9, 2013
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