Sharjah Police launches awareness campaign on electronic extortion risks

  • Saturday 03, March 2018 in 3:06 PM
  • Col. Ibrahim Al Ajel, Director of Sharjah Criminal Investigation Department
  • Col. Arif Hassan Hudaib, Director of Sharjah Police’s Media and Public Relations
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Sharjah 24: The Department of Information and Public Relations of Sharjah Police Force has launched an extensive awareness campaign aimed at young people in general and university students in particular to warn against the danger of extortion via social media.

The campaign was launched in cooperation with the Department of Criminal Investigation, Comprehensive Police Stations Department, Traffic and Patrol Department, and the Community Police Department.

The campaign comes in line with the vision of the Ministry of the Interior, and the Sharjah Police’s endeavour to achieve the objectives of the strategic plan of the Sharjah Police General Command aimed at enhancing the sense of security and safety in order to immunise all members of society from falling victims to various types of crimes targeting them individually, including what has become known as electronic extortion helped by the widespread use of social media.

 Launched under the slogan “Beware Being Lured”, the campaign started on Tuesday 27/2/2018 with the participation of all the concerned departments. 

The programme includes distribution of publications and brochures to university students containing tips and guidance in three languages (Arabic, English, and Urdu), which include the definition of the threat of electronic extortion, and calls on those targeted to use safe means of social communication and all modern technologies to protect them from abuse or misuse.

On the methods used to commit cyber extortion crimes, Captain Mohsen Ahmed, Director of the IT Crimes Branch of Sharjah Police, explained that the extortion process is often carried out through social networking programmes of all kinds beginning with request of friendship with the other party to voice -recording, taking pictures and videos recording for the victim. 

The perpetrator then threatens the victim by publishing the photos and video clips that he has taken and disseminates them to social media outlets for fictitious sums, threatening to expose the victim to the persons or contacts stored on his account.

He has urged victims of cyber extortion to waste no time in reporting the incidents to authorities as any degree of hesitation only encourages scamsters to target more victims, guiding that reporting such crimes can be made by calling 065943228 or via e-mail at [email protected], assuring public of the utmost confidentiality of the issues.

Colonel Arif Hassan Hudaib, Director of the Media and Public Relations, said that the campaign mostly focuses on university students’ involvement in the security awareness system adding this segment of the society is most targeted by such crimes.

Col. Ibrahim Al Ajel, Director of Sharjah Criminal Investigation Department, urged parents to pay attention to extortion crimes and to protect their children and family members from falling victims to these crimes, explaining that the students segment, especially university students, are more targeted by such crimes.