Sharjah: Cyberblackmail and various other cybercrimes have become increasingly prevalent, yet victims often hesitate to report these offenses due to embarrassment or concerns about sharing sensitive information publicly.
To address this issue, Sharjah Police emphasise the confidentiality of reporting such cases and encourage individuals to come forward without fear.
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This important issue came to the forefront during the launch of the ‘Be Aware: Stop, Think, Protect’ campaign, an interactive initiative aimed at enhancing awareness about cybercrime and cybersecurity. The programme was officially inaugurated at City Centre Al Zahia mall in Sharjah by Brigadier General Abdullah Mubarak bin Amer, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, on Thursday.
The ‘Be Aware’ campaign aims to educate citizens, residents, and visitors about online threats and provide them with strategies to protect themselves. The interactive platform includes six stations covering topics such as electronic blackmail, telephone fraud, electronic plagiarism, and hacking. Additionally, a dedicated station offers educational games for children, a vital target audience for cybersecurity awareness.
The campaign runs for 10 days, in collaboration with Sharjah Police’s strategic partners, and is available in Arabic, English, and Urdu languages. Officers and cybercrime specialists are available at City Centre Al Zahia to offer guidance on safeguarding against online threats.
Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Al Khamiri, Director of the Awareness Wing at Criminal and Investigation Department, Sharjah Police, said most victims of cybercrimes do not report these offenses due to inadequate security measures taken to protect their online accounts and privacy. Sharjah Police have urged the public to report any cybercrimes by calling the designated hotline or using other communication channels provided.
Team for female victims
The campaign also focuses on helping women who are often victims of cyberblackmail and aims to protect minors from online threats. Sharjah Police have a dedicated team of policewomen to confidentially handle incidents related to leaked private photos and videos.
Sharing some recent incidents, officials revealed that cybercriminals exploit various age groups, with cases involving children aged six to nine and adults ranging from 20 to over 60 years old. The law in the UAE punishes cybercrime with imprisonment and fines, providing a legal framework to combat these offenses.
Sharjah Police encourage everyone to visit the ‘Be Aware’ platform at City Centre Al Zahia and learn about the risks associated with cybercrimes and how to prevent them. The campaign will continue its efforts to educate and protect the community from the growing threats of cybercrime.
How To Report Cybercrime To Sharjah Police
Know the law
Cybercrime or fraud is punishable in UAE by Federal Law No 5 of 2012, on information technology crimes. More specifically, Article 11 thereof states that the suspect is to be punished with imprisonment for not less than one year and a fine of not less than Dh250,000 and not more than Dh1 million or both.