A vast majority of UAE residents have been targeted by e-scammers, 999 Magazine’s latest survey reveals, undertaken by the magazine in October to gauge the extent of electronic fraud in the country.
When asked if they had been targeted themselves or knew someone who had been targeted by e-scammers, a resounding 9 out of 10 (88%) residents answered positively, with many of them claiming that they had been targeted through more than one channel.
A majority of respondents (53%) cited e-mail as the primary scam tool while 41% of respondents said they’d received scam text messages while more than a third (36%) claimed to have received fraudulent phone calls.
Even more strikingly, only 15% said they went ahead and reported the attack, underscoring our level of indifference to such a critical issue.
However, a more reassuring statistics emerged when it was revealed that the fraudsters managed to dupe just 12% of the targeted respondents, which means that 88% of the targeted residents were smart enough to evade being scammed.
The magazine highlighted efforts being made by the country’s authorities to shield UAE residents from cyber scams by issuing warnings, offering tips on how to avoid scams and setting up dedicated branches against cybercrime activities.
Colonel Dr Rashid Borshid, Director, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Abu Dhabi Police, emphasised the need to exercise caution when using the Internet, particularly when visiting online shopping or dating sites. He also warned against easily giving out personal information. He urged Internet users to turn off the camera in their electronic devices and go easy on uploading personal photographs. Community awareness, he stressed, was the first line of defence.
Lt Colonel Awadh Saleh Al Kindi, Editor-in-Chief of 999, said: “International hacking can be combated by using accredited and reliable anti-virus software, regularly changing passwords, and updating secure operating systems and reliable applications continuously,” he said in an effort to raise awareness on the issue.
“Over the years, Internet crime has evolved: from mischievous individual hackers sending e-mail-linked viruses affecting a relatively small number of PCs, it can now be an all-out attack on targets as big as nuclear facilities and military operations.”
He advised residents to be vigilant at all times and follow simple steps like logging out of their computers after completing an online transaction, avoid sharing personal information online, and securing the Internet connection before undertaking any online financial transactions, among others.
Complete findings of the e-security poll, undertaken in mid-October, and covering 600 UAE residents of various nationalities, have been published in the November edition of 999 Magazine, a part of the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of the Interior to provide media coverage for the activities and efforts of the Ministry and Abu Dhabi Police. It also aims to encourage the public to contribute to the reduction of crime and enhancement of safety in the UAE.
Wednesday, November 6- 2013 @ 5:57 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.