The Dubai Police on Sunday warned residents against online beggars who ask for help through emails, WhatsApp or other social media platforms.
Beggars send images of people in poor conditions and fabricate stories asking for help to support orphans, treat sick people, or build mosques and schools in developing countries.
Butti Ahmad bin Darwish Al Falasi, director of security awareness at Dubai Police, said, "The UAE government has established official channels for charity, and those in need should register with these institutions to ensure donations reach them."
He further added that Federal Law No.5 of 2012 on Cybercrime prohibits anyone from creating or running an electronic site to raise donations without obtaining a licence from a competent authority.
The Dubai Police security awareness director also urged the public to report beggars to the toll-free number 901 or through the Police Eye service via Dubai Police App and to report online beggars and suspicious cyber activities on www.ecrime.ae.
The Dubai Police warned the public against beggars who take advantage of their generosity during the holy month of Ramadan.
Al Falasi said Dubai Police's "Begging is a Wrong Concept of Compassion" awareness campaign has sent 76,060 emails to external and internal customers to raise awareness against such a societal scourge that detracts from the civilised image of any society.
Al Falasi further noted that the campaign's awareness materials on social media recorded 453,038 views, including 181,000 on Twitter, 137,408 on Facebook, and 1341,621 on Instagram.
Butti Ahmad bin Darwish Al Falasi, director of security awareness at Dubai Police, said beggars usually increase during Ramadan as they want to exploit people's generosity.
"Federal Law No. 9 of 2018 on Anti-begging states that anyone caught begging in the UAE will be fined Dh5,000 and imprisoned for up to three months. Those operating professional gangs of beggars or recruiting people from outside the country to work as beggars face a jail term of not less than six months and a minimum fine of Dh100,000," he added.
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