More than 25,000 cybercrimes reported last year, say Dubai Police

Three arrested for defrauding man and daughter of Dh47,000

Dubai residents are urged to use the force's e-crime platform to report online fraud. istockphoto.com
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Dubai Police received thousands of complaints last year from victims of cybercriminals.

Figures released on Wednesday showed that 25,841 people used the force's e-crime platform on its website in 2021 to report cybercrimes.

Brig Jamal Al Jallaf, director of the Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, said one report last year led to the arrest of three men who cheated a Dubai resident and his daughter out of Dh47,000.

“The arrests were made in an operation dubbed 'fake inheritance',” said Brig Al Jallaf.

“The victim lived and worked in Dubai before he returned to his home country, where the criminals contacted him and convinced him that money under his name was in a Dubai trust fund.”

The criminals convinced the man that a Dh7,000 fee was required to free the money in the trust fund. The man ended up transferring the money but later died.

The fraudsters rang the deceased man’s phone and ended up speaking to his daughter. They approached her with the same scam, convincing her that she and her siblings could inherit the money in the fund.

She was shown previous messages they had sent to her father, after which she transferred Dh40,000.

When they asked her to transfer Dh100,000 more, she decided to consult her uncle, who contacted Dubai Police.

“The uncle flew to Dubai after which a sting operation resulted in the arrest of three criminals — an African and two Arabs,” Brig Al Jallaf said.

In a separate case, a couple were arrested over an online fraud involving fake jobs.

“They scammed more than 20 people after promising them domestic labour jobs in the country,” said Brig Al Jallaf.

He urged people to use the e-crime platform to report online fraud, whether or not the criminals had been successful.

“The e-crime platform has significantly helped curb cybercrime and detect new methods of scamming people,” he said.

“Cybercrime is constantly evolving, especially in light of the rapidly advancing technology, overuse of social media and the increased number of people who have become more inclined to online shopping.”

Research by UK technology website Comparitech found that UAE residents lose $746million a year to cyber crime.

In February, Abu Dhabi Police said about Dh18 million had been returned to victims of phone scams and other cybercrimes.

The money was retrieved through the contact centre at the Criminal Security Sector, a unit given the task of with dealing with complaints about financial fraud.

Updated: August 24, 2022, 3:23 PM
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