Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

A fake email message claiming to be from Emirates NBD alerting customers of VAT refunds is a phishing attempt.

One of the biggest banks in the regions, ENBD has published a warning note on its website advising customers to keep an open for an email with the subject “VAT Refund Notification”.

“Please be aware this is a phishing e-mail,” the bank wrote. “We urge you to be highly vigilant and always check the source before clicking on any links or attachments in e-mails.”

The bank said it would never ask a customer for personal details such as an account number, online and mobile banking credentials or debit or credit card details such as a username, password, PIN or the three-digit CVV number.

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The fraudulent email, signed Revenue and VAT Administrator, Emirates NBD, promised a VAT refund and came from the email address Different amounts were promised to different customers.

An email received by one customer stated: “After the last calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a VAT refund of AED 209.45.”

There is no foolproof way to block Phishing messages, but security specialists recommend that you should not reply, call back, or click on a link immediately. Instead, look for a verified number on a company’s official website, and call that number. If a company representative confirms that a message is fake, delete it immediately.