The Dubai Police General HQ has called upon members of the public to remain vigilant when using social media platforms and not to fall prey to online cybercriminals and scammers, WAM reported.
These remarks were made by Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, at Dubai Police, as he revealed the details of Operation “Shadow” which led to the arrest of 20 African gangs for blackmailing and cyber extortion against social media users. The force has recently arrested a married couple who deceived social media users by posing as a recruitment agency for domestic helpers, he said.
Al Mansouri attributed the success of both operations to the efforts and professionalism of the General Department of Criminal Investigations (CID) who utilised the latest technologies at the Criminal Data Analysis Centre of Dubai Police. He reiterated the force’s readiness to shield the public against all forms of harmful and criminal activities.
“Our officers keep abreast of the latest crime prevention methods, including harnessing the artificial intelligence capabilities of the Criminal Data Analysis Centre of Dubai Police to track down criminals and foil their bids to harm our society,” he said.
Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf, Director of CID at Dubai Police, revealed that they had received reliable tip-off about some African gangs who lured men by posting and sharing photos of girls on social media platforms and via e-mails.
“When the victim arrives at the specified address, he would find a different girl and not the one he had chatted with online,” Al Jallaf said. “The gang would threaten victims and take their belongings, including mobile phones and credit cards after they take pictures of the men in indecent positions and threaten to post their videos online and share it with the victims’ contacts if they report the matter to the authorities. The victims would end up sharing their mobile phone passcodes and credit card security pins, and paying huge amounts to avoid being defamed online and among their family members”, he added.
Lt. Col. Abdullah Mohammed, head of Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, confirmed that comprehensive investigations have led to the arrest of 47 suspects in Dubai and in a nearby emirate, where they that had been renting flats under fake IDs.
Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf revealed a fraud case involving a married couple of Arab nationality, who claimed that they could bring domestic helpers into the country despite the shutdown of airports. He noted that 46 people had fallen victim after they paid AED 3,000 in recruitment fees.
Captain Abdullah Al Shehhi, Deputy Director of the cybercrime department at the General Department of Criminal Investigation, warned members of the public not to fall prey to online conversations with strangers or drift behind services they provide or respond to suspicious e-mails.
He further warned the public against responding to hyperlinks sent to smartphones, especially via WhatsApp, indicating the necessity of activating a two-step verification feature that prevents criminals from stealing data.
Al Shehhi urged members of the public to report suspicious accounts and online extortion to the “e-crime.ae” platform of Dubai Police, noting that received reports remain confidential.