Po­lice log on to cy­ber crim­i­nal an­tics

Vic­tims help snare on­line black­mail­ers

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Nawal Al Ramahi @nawal_ramahi nawal@7days.ae

More than 120 peo­ple have been ar­rested for cy­ber­crime of­fences, with sex­ual black­mail among the most preva­lent crimes, ac­cord­ing to statis­tics re­leased by Shar­jah Po­lice.

Sus­pects from within the UAE and abroad were among those caught.

As seen in a spate of re­cent court cases in Shar­jah and Dubai, vic­tims com­ing for­ward and con­tact­ing po­lice has led to the per­pe­tra­tors be­ing tracked down.

Colonel Ibrahim Al Ajel, Di­rec­tor of the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment at Shar­jah Po­lice, said: “There were 94 cases of cy­ber­crimes in this year and 122 sus­pects were ar­rested.

“Since 2015, we have dealt with 214 cy­ber­crime cases and 239 sus­pects have been ar­rested. Cy­ber­crime of­fend­ers are hard to track or to catch.

“It is hard to iden­tify the crime scene or the tool used to carry out the crime.

“And it’s an­other chal­lenge if the of­fender lives out­side the UAE. How­ever, Shar­jah Po­lice works with in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions to fight all kinds of cy­ber fraud.”

Po­lice said cy­ber­crime of­fend­ers typ­i­cally com­mit their crime through phone scams, ex­tor­tion and defama­tion.

Among the re­cent cases seen in court are in­stances where teenage girls have sent semi-naked pic­tures to male friends, only to see them­selves black­mailed. In some cases, the black­mail­ers ask for money in ex­change for not post­ing the pic­tures on so­cial me­dia or send­ing them to her fam­ily.

Among the more un­usual cases was a Shar­jah con­man who posed as a fe­male match­maker to swin­dle money out men and women hop­ing to find suitable spouses. The man, who used the name Reem, of­fered to help ar­range mar­riages and in­tro­duc­tions for as much as Dhs60,000 to Dhs70,000, only to run off with the cash.

Al Ajel urged in­ter­net users to avoid send­ing per­sonal de­tails to peo­ple they do not know.

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