Dubai: A woman who conned people into giving her $50,000 (Dh183,500) by asking for money to support her children on social media platforms has been arrested in Dubai, officials said on Sunday.
The woman, who is European, was apprehend after duping many people with her posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Dubai Police did not disclose the mother’s nationality or age.
Beggars use different styles and use poverty and sickness as pretexts. The woman used social media to trick people but her former husband alerted the police through the e-crime platform.
Brigadier Jamal Al Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department in Dubai Police, said the woman established online accounts and posted pictures of her children to trick people into sending her money.
“She was telling people that she was divorced and supporting her children on her own. But her former husband reported her through [the] E-Crime platform and proved the children were living with him,” Brigadier Al Jallaf said.
The woman had collected Dh183,500 within 17 days of begging on social media.
Her former husband told Dubai Police he received calls from his relatives in his home country asking about his financial situation after they saw posts of his former wife.
“Beggars use different styles and use poverty and sickness as pretexts. The woman used social media to trick people but her former husband alerted the police through the E-Crime platform,” Brig Al Jallaf said.
Before Ramadan, police had warned the public against falling prey to the tricks employed by beggars — both online or on the streets.
Dubai Police arrested 128 beggars during Ramadan as part of an anti-begging campaign. They included 85 males and 43 females.
The arrested beggars were mostly visitors.
Lt Col Ahmad Al Adidi, deputy director of Infiltrators Department in Dubai Police, said beggars face jail up to three months and a Dh5,000 fine, according to Article 9 in the UAE Federal Law for 2018.
“The law was tough on the person who run an organised begging net in the country. He or she can be punished to six months and a Dh100,000 fine,” Lt Col Al Adidi said.
Online begging incurs a fine of Dh250,000-Dh500,000.