(MENAFN - Arab Times) A total of 274 cybercrimes were registered in 2012 - a slight decrease compared to 2011, says Director General of the Public Relations and Moral Guidance Department and acting Director of Media Security Colonel Adel Al-Hashash. In a recent press statement, Al- Hashash called on the government and private sectors, as well as the citizens and expatriates, to be careful in order not to fall victim to electronic fraud and swindling. He warned the perpetrators, including individuals and global networks, are experts in cybercrimes which negatively affect the economic position of establishments, organizations and people.
He cited lack of awareness among the Internet users, particularly the social networking sites, as the main factor that makes unsuspecting victims fall into the trap of fraudsters. He said gullible individuals are usually deceived through the illusion of making money easily and quickly. He revealed the perpetrators have various duping methods like lottery or raffle draws, buy and sale of real estate properties, donation campaigns, competitions with prizes in cash or in kind, acquisition of account and personal information, as well as passwords.
He added the cybercriminals have unique and convincing ways of duping people without taking into consideration the plight of their victims. He admitted it is usually difficult to track down online fraudsters since they use fake identities. He appealed to the Internet users, who purchase or participate in online activities, to be cautious and ensure that they are dealing with genuine websites which are secured and credible. He also stressed the need for the people to resist the temptation of earning quick money through the Internet because this is one way for the fraudsters to lure their victims. He recommended changing passwords from time to time and to ensure the passwords are complex to make it hard for fraudsters and hackers to crack them.
Affirming the interior minister spares no effort in warning the public on the risks of online transactions, Al-Hashash said the Public Relations, Moral Guidance and Security Media departments, in conjunction with their cybercrime and criminal investigation departments have been organizing awareness campaigns through various media domains to keep the public informed. In conclusion, Al-Hashash asserted the Cybercrime Department is always prepared to receive reports on electronic crimes and to take the necessary legal measures against the perpetrators. He also underscored the need for the people to protect themselves by being cautious in accessing websites and in dealing with others online; especially when money is involved.