23.10 2019 16:03h

Dubai Residents Be Warned Of New Social Media Extortion Scam

The internet can never be too safe, you know?
Cyber Crime, Dubai, Extortion, Blackmail, Social Media

Extortionists on social media are blackmailing Dubai residents for money by provoking them until they insult them and then threatening a cyber-crime case, an official said.

This form of social media blackmailing has been getting noticed on Twitter and Whatsapp locally, according to Senior Prosecutor Dr. Khalid Ali Al Junaibi from Dubai Public Prosecution.

“We noticed some people were making profits from online insults by making the victim insult them and then blackmailing them for compensation in order to not file a case,” Al Junaibi said during a session at Al Rashidiya Majlis in Dubai last week.

Most of the victims are young adults or new social media users that are not aware of the consequences to cyber-bullying. Especially since cyberbullying crime cases are taken very seriously in Dubai.

Under Article 20 cyber-crime insults and accusations on social media are punishable by either prison or fines between AED 250,000 to 500,000. Before the law was amended in 2018, this crime was also punishable with deportation.

Al Junaibi is asking parents to educate their children about the risks of social media and learning how to control what language they use on the internet.

“Many people think that minor insults is not an online crime but it is,” Al Junaibi said. “For example if you called someone thief or scammer in a post, he or she could take a screenshot of the chat and post it to use as evidence to launch a case.

To report any form of cyber crime, visit www.ecrime.ae and the Dubai police will be able to then handle it.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Image credit: Shutterstock.

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