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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

McScam: Fast food giant McDonalds warns against fake websites in Qatar


The fast food giant warned customers of fraudulent websites that aim to steal money through fake orders.

McDonald’s Qatar has warned its customers of a number of fake websites designed to dupe customers into making orders in the Gulf state.

“We have been made aware of numerous fraudulent websites impersonating our business in Qatar,” said McDonald’s Qatar on their Instagram.

These websites have been advertising fake offers and requesting bank details from customers for fake and fraudulent transactions to steal money from consumers.

McDonald’s said the issue has been reported and that it was working closely with local authorities to rectify the matter and take down the fake websites.

Customers can protect themselves from a scam by placing orders on the official MyMcDonald’s App, the official McDonald’s websites, or food delivery platforms that feature McDonald’s such as Talabat, Snoonu or Carriage.

The rise of fraudulent websites comes amid a growing trend in scam attempts and phishing attacks in Qatar.

In August, Qatar’s cultural village Katara said its Instagram account had been hacked by an unknown entity. Katara warned its social media followers to avoid replying to requests sent by its hacked account.

More than 88 percent of Qatar’s population is able to access the internet, making it one of the most connected countries in the Middle East.

This, along with the Gulf state’s wealth and political stances, has made it a prime target for cyber criminals in recent years, security experts believe.

How to protect yourself

Cybercrime is illegal and punishable by law in Qatar, specifically Qatari Law №14 that concerns offences committed using ‘an information network, an information system, a website, or any information technology’.

Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, Kaspersky’s security experts advise the following:

  • Only install mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices or the App Store on iOS.
  • Block the installation of programmes from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings.
  • Do not bypass device restrictions, as this might provide cybercriminals with limitless capabilities to carry out their attacks.
  • Install system and application updates as soon as they’re available – they patch vulnerabilities and keep devices protected.
  • Never download mobile OS system updates from external sources (unless you’re participating in official beta-testing). These should only be installed through official app stores.
  • Use reliable security products for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats, and update your security products regularly.

To report cyber crimes in Qatar, contact the Cyber Crime Investigation Centre by phone on 2347444 or email at cccc@moi.gov.qa.

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