Dubai Police has issued a warning about the dangers of using public WiFi connections as cybercriminals are taking advantage of unencrypted networks.
Lieutenant-Colonel Salem Bin Salmeen, deputy director of Cyber Crimes Department in Dubai Police, said cybercriminals use public WiFi networks to prey on victims who are unaware of the risks involved when using open networks.
Lt-Col Bin Salmeen said: "Cyber criminals are setting up WiFi hotspots, often with innocent-sounding names, such as ‘Free Public WiFi', that con users into logging in. They go to malls and make a free WiFi network with the name of the mall or shops so people connect their devices to the network but then all information will be hacked.
"Cyber criminals will use every opportunity to infiltrate networks in order to gather personal and financial details. Quickly they can extract this information."
Cybercriminals use this tactic to steal financial details or personal details. He recalls one incident where one user had connected to a free WiFi network and she later discovered her data had been hacked.
He added: "We contacted the authorities concerned outside the country and recovered her account through iCloud."
Dubai Police asked people to report any suspicious links by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.