Watch: Dubai Police reveal the best way to deal with anonymous phone messages

Video shows man receive a photo of drug pills. Here is what he did next

by

Angel Tesorero

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Published: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 10:08 PM

If ever you receive a suspicious note on your mobile phone, the best thing to do is not to reply, engage or repost the anonymous message. Report it immediately to authorities instead, the Dubai Police reminded the public on Saturday.

The authorities tweeted a one-minute video to demonstrate what anyone should do. In the video, a man receives a photo message of pills with a note: ‘You want’. The man, at first, is about to reply with angry emojis but he deletes them. He also thinks of sending the message to warn someone but decides not to share it.


The police said: “Do not reply to an anonymous message. Do not interact with such messages. Do not repost, share or circulate such messages. Contact Dubai Police e-crime and report anonymous messages.

“Join the fight against illicit drugs by reporting such messages to the #DubaiPolice toll-free no. 901 or the http://ecrime.ae platform,” they added.


Strange WhatsApp messages

Back in January this year, Khaleej Times reported that hundreds of UAE residents have been bombarded with strange WhatsApp messages from anonymous senders — and no matter how many times they blocked the numbers, they kept getting the chats.

Hundreds of such complaints have landed on the police's desks, prompting the authorities to intensify a crackdown and issue a warning: 'Never respond to these messages'.

According to the police, those suspicious texts were sent by drug dealers looking for buyers. “They would typically share GPS coordinates of the location of the drugs —which were usually buried in remote areas. They send pictures, videos, and audio clips on how to buy drugs, claiming that they could deliver the items anywhere,” noted Brig Khalid bin Muwaiza, acting director of the General Department of Anti-Narcotics in Dubai.

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More than 2,200 reports were received, and 527 drug dealers were arrested. Police forces across the country spare no effort in fighting drug rings and their illegal activities, Bin Muwaiza underlined, adding: “The concern, however, that their messages have succeeded in getting a response from people out of curiosity — especially the youth — remains an issue.

“Criminals and dealers are developing new techniques and take advantage of the latest technologies to reach addicts, in particular, and members of the public, in general," he added.

What one should do

Authorities advise the public to contact Dubai Police toll free number 901 (for non-emergency cases); email mail@dubaipolice.gov.ae; or go to Dubai Police website or app to file a report.

angel@khaleejtimes.com


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