Dubai Police cyber crime poster
Residents can report suspicious online activities on Dubai Police's dedicated platform for cyber-crime Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Police arrested a man who blackmailed a girl he had connected with on social media platform.

According to Brigadier Abdullah Bin Suroor, Director of Bur Dubai Police Station, the man was arrested in less than 24 hours after the girl’s family reported the incident via Dubai’s Smart Police Station (SPS).

Brigadier Abdullah Bin Suroor

“A report reached Bur Dubai Police Station that a girl had sent her pictures to a man who blackmailed her. The man was arrested immediately,” said Brig Bin Suroor. “The man initially earned the girl’s trust but later used the photos and videos that she had sent him to blackmail her.”

Police advisory

Dubai Police urged the public to remain vigilant at all times when using social media platforms and not to share personal details, videos or photos with any anonymous or suspicious entity, as cyber blackmailers may exploit these.

Dubai Police have also advised social media users to be cautious while browsing the internet and refrain from visiting suspicious websites to avoid falling prey to cybercriminals and online scammers.

“Cyber extortion is an emerging form of cybercrime where cybercriminals blackmail victims by threatening to publish their private pictures, videos and other confidential information and demand money or force them to carry out illegal acts.”

Brig. Bin Suroor has urged parents to follow up on their children and educate them on not to accept friend requests or build friendships with strangers.

‘Extortion trap’

“Parents must teach children on the dangers of sharing their photos and information through websites, social media platforms and electronic games, as well as guide them on how to act when they fall into any extortion trap”, he added. He said the most common method was to lure people by using fake accounts on social media and making people share their photos and videos, which would be used later to blackmail them. “Ignore friend requests from unknown people on social media and do not establish video calls with strangers,” Brig Bin Suroor cautioned.

Dubai Police have advised the public to report cybercriminals via the E-Crime platform or to the nearest Smart Police Station (SPS) that operate 24x7. Additionally, people can call the toll-free number 901 to report the crime.