UAE: Residents warned of suspicious messages through WhatsApp, social media

Community members are urged to refrain from clicking on any unfamiliar links and verify messages from unknown sender


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Tue 3 Oct 2023, 10:55 AM

Last updated: Thu 16 Nov 2023, 1:16 PM

UAE authorities have issued a stern warning to residents about the dangers of clicking on unfamiliar links that are often circulated via platforms like WhatsApp, text messages, and various social media platforms. This advisory is part of ongoing efforts to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protect the public from potential online threats.

The Cyber Security Council, responsible for overseeing cybersecurity in the UAE, took to the popular social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to reiterate this warning. They emphasised the need for caution and vigilance when encountering unsolicited messages that urge users to join groups or initiate clicks on unknown links.

“Users are advised to exercise caution, refrain from clicking on any unfamiliar links, and verify the authenticity of messages with the senders before taking any action,” the post read.

These links often lead unsuspecting users to phishing sites, initiate malware downloads, or expose them to other online threats. In some cases, hackers manage to gain access to the victim's account through these tactics and often use the victim's contact list for further illegal activities.

This announcement underscores the persistent concern regarding the increasing prevalence of online scams, phishing attempts, and other cyber threats that aim to compromise users' personal information and digital security.

The UAE authorities are committed to safeguarding residents and ensuring they are well-informed about potential risks in the digital landscape.

Residents are encouraged to report suspicious messages or links to the relevant authorities to help combat cyber threats and protect the online ecosystem.

Tips to avoid falling victim to scams:

  • Avoid clicking on unknown links.
  • Verify the identity of the sender by direct communication before clicking on links.
  • Regularly update all your applications and operating systems.
  • Use antivirus software and applications.
  • Avoid joining unknown groups on WhatsApp or other websites and applications.

If your WhatsApp is hacked:

Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), the UAE's Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) posted tips on what to do if your WhatsApp account gets hacked.

“Send an email to the technical support of WhatsApp -, and mention the following text: Lost/Stolen, please deactivate my account by providing your phone number in the following format +9715xxxxxxx," posted TDRA.

The authority further mentioned removing and reinstalling the messaging app at different times of the day, and retry reinstalling every day.

“Inform relatives and friends about the hacking and urge them not to respond to any messages coming from your number on WhatsApp,” posted TDRA.


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