European woman poses as victim of failed marriage, collects USD 50k, in 17 days

The woman was apprehended after duping many people with her posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Dubai: An European woman in the UAE has been arrested for conning people into giving her USD 50,000 on various social media platforms by posing as a victim of a failed marriage who was trying to support her children, according to a media report.

The woman was apprehended after duping many people with her posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and made the money in just 17 days, a Dubai police official said on Sunday.

The Dubai police, however, did not disclose the woman's nationality or age.

Brigadier Jamal Al Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department of the Dubai Police, said the woman established online accounts and posted pictures of her children to beg for living expenses "to raise" them, the Gulf News reported.

"She was telling people that she was divorced and supporting her children on her own. But her former husband reported her through (the) e-Crime platform and proved the children were living with him," Brigadier Al Jallaf said.

"The husband realised his children's photos were being used for begging after several relatives and friends called to check with him. By defaming her children and harming their reputation, the woman managed to earn USD 50,000 (183,500 dirhams) in 17 days of begging on social media," the officer said.

Brigadier Al Jallaf urged people to not sympathise with beggars on the streets or on social media.

"Begging via online channels is a crime that is being dealt with by the Dubai Police through the e-Crime platform. People seek help by pretending to have a disease or disability, or by showcasing apparent poverty to exploit people's generosity."

He added that 128 beggars were arrested during Ramzan.

Captain Abdullah Al Shehhi, Deputy Director of the Dubai Police's cyber crime department, said begging via online channels is punishable in the country with imprisonment and/or a fine of between 250,000 to 50,000 dirhams.

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