An Emirati woman has issued a warning to other women to be wary before interacting with people on social media after she was blackmailed into having a relationship with a man she met online.
The woman told her story through a video shared by Abu Dhabi Police.
“I met a guy on social media. Our relationship developed into us sending photos and videos to each other,” she said.
The identity and age of the woman have not been revealed.
“After some time, he started putting pressure on me in many ways,” she said.
“He blackmailed me financially, socially, until he threatened to even kill me.
“All of this so I’ll keep going out with him.”
The pressure eventually started to affect her personal life and career.
“I turned into an introvert, and I started missing work. I could no longer carry on with my life as normal,” she said.
After a while, the Emirati woman said, a colleague noticed that there was something wrong with her.
“We spoke and she advised me to go to Abu Dhabi Police’s social support department,” she said.
“I was surprised with by how quickly and secretly they handled by situation and my privacy."
Warning for women
She advised women to be cautious when it comes to interacting with people on social media.
“I have a message for every woman: do not trust any sender or message you receive on social media,” she said.
She also advised people to contact the police’s Aman service on 8002626 if they find themselves in a similar situation.
Abu Dhabi Police also advised parents to monitor their children’s activities on social media and who they are in contact with.
“Especially men who pretend to be women to trick others into befriending them; then the blackmail begins,” police said.
The law punishes cyber blackmail with up to two years in jail and a fine that ranges between Dh250,000 and Dh500,000.
The penalty is upgraded to 10 years in prison if the blackmail was to commit a crime or an indecent act that breaches one’s honour.