Sharjah: Crimes, in which information technology is used, are accountable for about 70 per cent of all crimes according to a recent study in Abu Dhabi, which showed that most crimes were committed using information technology, a Dubai Police officer said.
Addressing interrogators, judges and law students, Major Saeed Mohammad Al Hajeri, Head of the Information Technology Crime Department of Dubai Police, said recent studies show that cyber criminals keep up with new developments in IT.
In his lecture titled ‘Procedures Followed in Investigating Information Technology Crimes' delivered at the Institute of Training and Judicial Studies in Sharjah, Major Al Hajeri said any new software or system usually comes with many security gaps and other shortcomings, and criminals make the most of that.
Among the most common crimes is providing illegal VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls, which is the preferred method of communication for drug smugglers and human traffickers, among others, since these calls are hard to trace, he explained.
Hacking is another illegal activity, and that includes hacking websites of banks, companies and government department, as well as hacking into individual computers and emails for different reasons, Maj Al Hajeri said, adding that hacking programmes are easily available on the internet.
Blackmail is often done through the internet, especially when a criminal uses a security loophole to hack into an individual's email and use their personal information to either blackmail them or distort their reputation, which can be done through emails, social networking websites and forums.
"This is why we say that proxy protects the family that has no awareness against blackmail and email hacking," Major Al Hajeri said. The internet is often used in scams, which are often reported in the UAE.
"A person will receive an email or a phone message informing them that they had won a prize and in order to receive it, they must transfer some money, or send phone credit, to a certain account or phone number. These crimes usually involve a fraudster and a mule, who receives the money from victims and transfers it to the fraudster," Major Al Hajeri said.
He cited a recent case where a fraudster set up a fake hospital website copying all the information from a local hospital, and asked visitors to this website to donate money for charity, which many people did.
Have you ever been a victim of cyber crime? Did you report it to the authorities? Are you aware of any ways to protect yourself from such crimes?