By Staff writer
2015 cases include fraud, online scams, credit card abuse and sexual blackmail
Police recorded a 23 percent surge in crimes committed online last year, it emerged this week.
Instances of ‘cybercrime’ rose from 1,581 in 2014 to 1,820 in 2015, according to local media.
The crimes involved fraud, scams, extortion and stolen credit cards and many perpetrators have been arrested already.
However, the steep rise in such online crimes is “normal, given the spread of technology in almost all spheres of life,” Saeed Al Hajri, director of the counter-electronic crimes unit at Dubai Police, was quoted in 7Days as saying.
Of the 1,820 cases, 522 cybercrime cases involved credit cards and charity ploys, among other scams, Al Hajri reportedly told Arabic daily Emarat Al Youm.
For example, police foiled a plot last year involving an international gang that hacked credit cards in the UAE.
Another gang set up a bogus travel agency, using stolen credit cards to buy air tickets online and sell them to clients at cheaper prices. All six people involved were arrested, the newspaper reported.
Another common type of cybercrime was online sexual blackmail as social media sites become more and more popular, officials said.
Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director of the Social Police Department, was quoted as saying: “Victims of cyber blackmail range from young teens to people in their forties and fifties and criminals are often outside the UAE. Therefore, police are working closely with other authorities [to tackle this].”For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.