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A Sharjah Police patrol. The Sharjah Police General Command has launched an electronic awareness campaign titled 'Beware of the dangers of electronic extortion. Image Credit: WAM

Sharjah: The Sharjah Police General Command has launched an electronic awareness campaign titled 'Beware of the dangers of electronic extortion', which will continue for a month.

The campaign aims to raise awareness among community members about the danger of electronic extortion and enhance safety and security among community members.

Colonel Omar Ahmad Abu Al Zoud, director of the Criminal Investigation Department at Sharjah Police, said that the campaign aims to educate all segments of society and inform them of the risks that they may face if they are exposed to electronic blackmail, and urged them to be cautious when dealing with strangers or unknown people via social networks.

The awareness explanations as well as messages and brochures will be in three languages (Arabic, English and Urdu) with a full explanation on how to protect against electronic blackmail. These messages will be posted on social media and will also be displayed on electronic screens on RTA buses, in addition to spreading awareness through various print, audio, visual and smart media.

Col. Abu Al Zoud called on community members to be careful in dealing with social media, and to ensure that they take measures that protect them from exposure to electronic threats or extortion in any way, and not accept communication with unreliable strangers or send any private or sensitive pictures or data.

Col Abu Al Zoud said Sharjah Police’s online patrols operate round the clock to monitor criminal activity in the cyberworld and arrest people who misuse social media and blackmail victims. Police have closed a number of suspicious accounts and sites and arrested their owners, in cooperation with the telecommunication authority, he added. Sharjah Police also launched regular campaigns to raise awareness among the public on potential online dangers.

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The Sharjah Police General Command has urged persons who are subjected to any electronic blackmail or who are aware that their accounts have been hacked, to quickly report the matter to the Cybercrime Department of the Criminal Investigation Department, by contacting or on the phone number 065943228, or via WhatsApp number 0559992158 for prompt action, or contacting the number 999 which is designated for emergencies cases and accidents.