Abu Dhabi Police warn against online begging during Ramadan

The force said using internet platforms can be hugely lucrative and is the most dangerous form of all

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Abu Dhabi Police warned the public not to be deceived by beggars using unlicensed online platforms, social media and text messaging during Ramadan.

The emirate's police said the beggars, who could be anywhere in the world, will use heartfelt messages and images seeking financial support to help orphans, pay for medical treatments or to build mosques and schools in poor countries as a ruse to scam people during the holy month.

The force said online begging could be lucrative and was the most dangerous form of all because the money would go to an anonymous person or group to be used for an unknown reason.

The penalties for begging is a jail term of up to three months and a fine of at least Dh5,000.

The penalty will be stiffened against beggars who are found to be in good health condition and have a source of income or those who claim to be a service provider using means of deception.

Anyone organising begging will receive a jail term of no less than six months a minimum fine of Dh100,000.

Each year, authorities urge the public to use only official channels for charity donations.

Although donations are encouraged, there are strict laws in the UAE that people are required to follow.

It is illegal to hand out money to strangers or run fundraising campaigns without a licence. Residents cannot share or forward links to unlicensed charities on social media or messaging apps.

In January, existing laws on how money is donated were broadened to include food, supplies and medicine.

Updated: March 31, 2022, 6:07 AM