Cash ploys beg­gar be­lief

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - Ali.shouk@7days.ae

The pub­lic has been warned against be­ing duped by fake beg­gars in the run-up to Ra­madan, with some us­ing wheel­chairs and fake in­juries to garner sym­pa­thy from donors. A man drag­ging around an oxy­gen mask and pre­tend­ing to be ter­mi­nally ill was among the 1,405 peo­ple caught seek­ing cash in 2015, up from 814 the year be­fore. Dubai Po­lice said beg­ging gangs are be­com­ing more cre­ative and so­phis­ti­cated in their at­tempts to col­lect funds, in­clud­ing ap­peals on so­cial me­dia and What­sApp. Chil­dren pos­ing with fake ill­nesses or bro­ken bones are among the more es­tab­lished meth­ods used for many years. Colonel Mo­hammed Rashid Al Muhairi, di­rec­tor of the Tourist Se­cu­rity De­part­ment, said: “Beg­gars al­ways have new ways to con res­i­dents in this Holy Month. They are us­ing so­cial me­dia now to get money. “Res­i­dents are the first line in the fight against beg­gars and can alert us by di­alling 800 243. Beg­gars are a dis­ease and must be got rid off.” In one in­ci­dent, a woman knocked the door of a man and asked for money. He went to fetch his wal­let. He re­turned to find she was gone along with his watch, which had been next to the door. “We ar­rested her later and we found a large amount of money and many goods in her pos­ses­sion,” Al Muhairi said. “Many beg­gars have be­come rich.” Po­lice have pre­vi­ously cited other cases in which ‘beg­gars’ have been caught stay­ing in five-star ho­tels. One caught ear­lier this year was found to be mak­ing Dhs9,000 per day.

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