Scammers target job seekers across Middle East with fake Arabic ads

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More than 2,000 fake job advertisements targeted Arabic speakers across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) in 2022, according to cybersecurity firm, Group-IB. Scammers aimed to hack into people’s social media networks to access passwords to break into their bank accounts.

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Scammers are “targeting job seekers, to steal their credentials and potentially cause them financial loss,” Sharef Hlal, the head of the company’s digital risk protection analytics team for the region said in the report.

Written in Arabic, the job advertisements came from 40 of the ‘largest enterprises’ in the MEA region, but the report did not name them.

One social media page had an ad spoofing a well-known petroleum company in Algeria, falsely offering monthly salaries of $4,800 for drivers and painters. Another imitated a Saudi dairy company, while some of the pages falsely advertised jobs for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

By getting information from people’s social media accounts, such as passwords, criminals hoped to use the details to access bank accounts and other financial assets to steal money.

Almost half of the companies impersonated by scammers on the fake job advertisements were from Egypt and nearly a quarter from Saudi Arabia.

A total of 64 percent of the fake advertisements came from scammers claiming to be businesses in the logistics sector, almost 20 percent from the food sector, and 12 percent from petroleum industry.

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