Dubai Police warn residents about the risks of online dating

Police said cyber criminals set up fake profiles to target potential victims

The use of fake dating profiles is a common technique used by cyber fraudsters. Pawan Singh / The National
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Dubai Police have issued a fresh warning against dating websites.

On Monday, authorities posted a video on social media urging people not to fall prey to cybercriminals who set up fake profiles.

"Online dating platforms can be obvious targets for fraud, with scammers [trying] to embezzle [people]. Avoid being a victim of dating websites," Dubai Police said on Twitter.

The force said fraudsters lure people through dating websites or unlicensed massage centres and then attack or blackmail them to get money.

In December last year, a woman in Dubai robbed an unsuspecting tourist at knifepoint after setting up a date on Tinder.

She was later jailed for five years.

In 2018, a survey from Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity company, found online daters were exposed to cyber threats.

It showed that 50 per cent of online daters in the UAE faced an IT security issue after sharing personal information with scammers.

Nearly 25 per cent of the respondents said they shared their full name on dating profiles and 15 per cent gave home addresses.

Nine per cent revealed work details and shared photos of family members.

The survey said victims risked having their devices or accounts hacked and targeted by ransomware.