Dubai Police clamp down on fake social media accounts

Dubai Police clamp down on fake social media accounts
Dubai Police worked with Etisalat to identify fake social media accounts.
Published: 7 December 2018 - 12:53 p.m.
By: Neil Halligan

Dubai Police blocked 5,000 social media accounts that were deemed to be fake during the past 12 months.

As part of its ongoing awareness campaign against online fraud, called ‘Beware of false accounts', Dubai Police targeted bogus and suspicious social media accounts accounts through a smart system operated by UAE telco Etisalat.

"Five thousand fictitious accounts have been withheld since the beginning of the second half of 2017," said Mohammed Al Zarouni, director of policies and programmes at Etisalat.

There is an automated system that monitors this type of account. We hope to spread awareness on a larger scale among the users of the sites, as awareness is the most important factor in curbing this crime."

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation and Investigation, said cybercriminals - mostly from outside of the UAE - are increasingly using social media to target unsuspecting users.

From a high of 292 cases in 2016, the number of detected fraud has dropped in the two years since then - 133 in 2017 and 126 so far this year. Some scammers pose as famous people or well-known companies, while others claim to be a family of Arabs in dire need of financial assistance.

"The owners of the false accounts exploit the generosity of the people in the UAE," said Colonel Mohammed Ahli, deputy director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation.

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