Picture for illustrative purposes only.


Cyberblackmail in UAE: Scammers target residents on WhatsApp, Snapchat

Scammers are targeting UAE residents on WhatsApp and Snapchat to blackmail them and get access to their bank accounts, police warned.

According to Sharjah Police, cybercriminals prowl these social media platforms to look for victims, and target mostly minors and women.

The latest warning came as part of Sharjah Police’s awareness campaign about cybercrime and cybersecurity, which was officially launched at City Centre Al Zahia.

According to Sharjah Police, scammers use various tactics to lure victims into sharing their private photos and videos that are then used as blackmail. Sharjah Police said it has rescued numerous victims and recovered their accounts within 24 hours.

In one case, a 17-year-old female who sent an indecent video to a scammer was blackmailed to pay Dh15,000. She alerted police, who tracked down the scammer and arrested him. Police said the man’s phone was also seized and they found 800 compromising photos there.

In another instance, a six-year-old boy was lured into sharing personal photos with a man he met through an online gaming platform. The scammer then threatened to post the photos in public if the boy did not give him his parents’ bank details. The incident was reported to the police, which averted a scam. ICA/Expat Media

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