Company urges maximum caution

Scam alert: “Zain Cash” name misused in Erbil and Karbala

ERBIL — A scam operation conducted under the guise of the “Zain Cash” mobile money service has targeted residents in Erbil and Karbala, as revealed by an investigation conducted by 964media’s Arabic section.

Scammers have devised a fake website resembling “Zain Cash,” persuading individuals to transfer money from their accounts. This scam underscores the necessity for increased vigilance among digital wallet users.

Digital money transfer services have become increasingly popular in Iraq in recent years, with “Zain Cash” emerging as a prominent platform enabling users to transfer and receive funds within and outside Iraq.

Abbas Mohammed Ayoub, a Lebanese resident in Erbil, recounted his encounter with 964media. Despite using the “Zain Cash” application for over a year, Ayoub faced difficulties transferring money to Lebanon. Upon seeing a sponsored advertisement on Instagram seemingly offering a solution, Ayoub clicked on the ad, leading him to a website closely mirroring “Zain Cash.”

Following a phone call with an individual posing as a “Zain Cash” employee, who requested his full name and wallet number, Ayoub received an OTP code, or a one-time password. Although Ayoub refrained from disclosing the code and ended the call, he later discovered that two million dinars [nearly $1,400] had vanished from his account. Despite not sharing his OTP code, Ayoub was baffled as to how the transaction occurred without his consent, as he had not received a notification from the company regarding the transfer.

To investigate the matter, 964media reached out to “Zain Cash.” A company source speaking on condition of anonymity disclosed that they encounter approximately 50 similar cases weekly.

“We are not responsible for these incidents as we constantly remind our partners not to share personal information with anyone, including our own employees,” said the source, adding that if someone quickly realizes they’re being scammed, they can immediately block their account, preventing any unauthorized transfers without the OTP code.

The Zain Cash official further stated that without an official legal request, they cannot take action against any account and urged those claiming to have been scammed to file a complaint in court.

“Based on a court decision, we can then proceed with investigations. Our technical teams are continuously working to shut down fake websites and accounts operating under the ‘Zain Cash’ name,” said the source.