This scamming technique is not new, however, most UAE residents have probably not experienced it yet. The problem with this scam is that the UAE government is being very careful in raising public awareness about it – so as not to affect Saudi Arabia’s reputation.
This is how it goes: a car with a Saudi plate number would stop, or be parked, and a man from that vehicle would approach you. Looking inside his car, you will find his family – women, kids. He will state that they were travelling from Saudi Arabia by land, and they have run out of money, so they need your help with some petrol money to drive back home.
Anyone in that situation would likely be taken back and immediately empathize. That’s because if a Saudi family is asking you for 50$, then “it must be true” that they are stuck there.
However, once you give them the money, feel good about it, and move on, they will still be there at the same spot scamming a few more people before moving to another spot.
This scam could easily make at least 1000$ a day in the UAE. If a family operates this scam for a month, they’ll live a very lavish life for 30,000$.
The main point of exploitation in this scam is that most people think that “all Saudis are rich”, especially in the UAE. That’s far from the truth. Saudi Arabia has a much bigger population than the UAE, and even though it’s a rich oil country, it does not maintain the same standard of living to all its citizens. Some of them are very poor.
So, if you ever find yourself in such a scenario. I would suggest you save your money, and give it to someone that you are more certain about their need for it.