CITC warns of fake gift promises via WhatsApp

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Saudi Gazette report

DAMMAM
— The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) warned users of the freeware and cross-platform messaging service WhatsApp of becoming victims of e-hackers and scammers and responding to fake messages claiming to be from the application's team. The goal of these messages is to steal the user's information, Al-Hayat reported.

CITC stressed the need to report those messages to the security services. The commission highlighted the need to be responsible and accountable when handling these scams and called on the receivers of these messages to file a report through the Ministry of Interior's application "We are all security".

CITC warned against clicking on any links attached to the messages. The commission called through its official accounts on social media that its ready to receive users' queries and comments. One of the users has reported receiving a fake message stating a cash prize and the commission encouraged the user to report the details of the messages through the Interior Ministry's application "We are all security".

Such scams are classified and dealt with as part of cyber crimes. The Saudi Anti-Cyber Crime Law is aimed at securing data exchange and protecting the rights of users.

"We advise users of telecommunications services not to respond to phishing messages that they claim to be from the WhatsApp team and require access to a specific link, which leads to account theft," announced CITC through its Twitter account.

Other avenues of reporing such scams are through emailing the Ministry of Interior at info.cybercrime@moisp.gov.sa. The Cyber Crime Law considers hacking any network, stopping it from working, disabling, destroying, scanning, using, deleting, leaking, or modifying computer programs or data a crime punishable with four years imprisonment and a fine of SR 3 million.

Additionally, anyone who obstructs or disrupts access of the service by any means whatsoever will receive a punishment of a maximum of three years and a fine not exceeding two million riyals.


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