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Abu Dhabi Misdemeanours Court convicted the person who attempted to swindle money by posing as a merchant. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Misdemeanours Court has convicted a person for attempting to swindle money by posing as a merchant owing money from the victim’s deceased father. However, the attempt failed and the accused was arrested.

Investigations by Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution revealed that the accused had contacted the victim on WhatsApp, after he came across his phone number in the obituary section of a social media platform. The victim had posted his family’s phone numbers to receive condolences, following the death of his father.

False claim

The accused, posing as a merchant, then contacted the victim and asked him to transfer an amount of Dh900 to his bank account, claiming that the victim’s deceased father had bought goods from him and the amount was still due. When the victim asked him to send his commercial licence or his ID card and told him to contact him, the offender replied, saying that he suffered from speech impairment. Suspecting the defendant’s intentions, the victim then reported the matter to the competent authorities.

Strict measures

Following investigations and examination of the phones, the Centre for Forensic and Digital Sciences of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department proved that the phone used in the criminal attempt belonged to the accused and that the social media account was also linked to the same phone number, in addition to the fact that the file and the photos contained in the device matched the WhatsApp conversations. Public Prosecution then referred the accused to the court, which sentenced him to two months in jail and ordered deletion of all data from the accused’s phone, confiscation of the phone and permanent closure of his WhatsApp account.

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Need for vigilance

Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution has advised the public to be vigilant at all times and verify the authenticity and purpose of any information they receive from any unknown person before responding to such messages or information, in order to make sure they are not cheated by scammers who use social media for criminal activities.