Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The Ministry of the Interior has warned Saudi citizens against fraudulent calls in the name of Saudi diplomatic missions in the United States with regard to attestation of certificates of online courses by American universities that they have attended.
The anonymous callers warn the citizens that the certificates that they had obtained were from unrecognized universities and that they have to pay huge amounts of money to rectify the attestation of certificates, the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting the ministry sources.
Maj. Gen. Muhammad Al-Maraoul, director of the General Department for Public Relations and Media at the ministry, said the ministry had received a cable from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that the Saudi Embassy in Washington reported on April 25 that it was contacted by several Saudi citizens living in the Kingdom stating that they had received anonymous calls purportedly from the number of the Saudi Embassy in Washington (202-342-3800) or the number of the Attaché Office (703-573-7226). They asked the citizens to transfer large sums of money for the attestation of their academic degrees obtained through their online studies from American universities and that in case of their failure, they have been threatened to inform the Ministry of the Interior of their names that these certificates are unknown and are not recognized ones.
After investigating the matter, the embassy clarified that these calls were not put through the embassy or the cultural attaché office despite the appearance of their telephone numbers.
The embassy said the display of the embassy’s numbers confirms that the callers were using certain apps to camouflage their number and show the embassy’s number to carry out the fraud.
The embassy also said it informed the cultural attaché office to warn all Saudi students on scholarships not to answer such calls to avoid falling prey into the trap.