Dubai Police issue warning over dating app scams

Police said cyber criminals use online platforms to target potential victims

The woman was discovered by police on patrol in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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Police in Dubai have sent out a fresh warning over the threat posed by cyber criminals setting up fake profiles on dating websites to snare unsuspecting victims.

The force posted a video on social media warning that organised crime gangs were using online channels to set up robberies and blackmail attempts.

The footage highlights that offenders are also luring people by offering unlicensed massage services.

In the video posted by police, a man is seen chatting to someone who offers him a private massage. He asks for the price and drives to the given location.

“Bad desires of some people may lead them to communicate with unknown persons through dating websites or unlicensed secret massage centres,” said the subtitles on the video.

The man in the video then enters a suspicious apartment and after the door is shut behind him, a scream is heard.

The use of fake dating profiles is a common technique used by cyber fraudsters.

In July, 47 people from 20 gangs were arrested by Dubai Police for setting up fake profiles and posing as recruitment agents to cheat people out of cash.

They arrested 37 men and 10 women, all from Africa, in connection with social media scams, extortion and robbery.

“When victims arrive to a shared location, they would be forced to pose indecently then have their pictures taken before they were robbed of their money, credit cards and other valuables they have on them,” said Maj Gen Khalil Al Mansouri, assistant commander-in-chief of criminal investigations for Dubai Police.