UAE NEWS: Beware of online matchmaking scams during Covid, advising UAE experts

E-match operations are “very dangerous” because one often has no way of verifying the details.

In the midst of the epidemic, which convinced people that home is the safest place to be, is it possible to find love and actually ‘meet’ your future spouse? Really, how do you find One in Covid-19? Game makers say they have the answer.

Compared to the pre-coronavirus era, there has been an increase in online activity for actors this year, according to authorities. The problem – not all are true.

Police have recorded numerous cases of fraud and deception – targeting men and women of marriageable age, looking for a life partner for life. The proliferation of cases and complaints about these types of scams has led to Dubai and Sharjah police issuing warning messages, urging the public to be careful when providing online matchmaking services. Make sure the business is licensed before starting any transaction, police insist.

Dr. Raja Al Othmani of Family Advisory said that these electronic game activities are “very dangerous”, especially since one often has no way of verifying the details of a particular “match” or person seeking marriage.

He lamented how the concept of partner comparison has changed over the years, when it comes to good technology. In the old days, members of the public themselves knew who the main characters were, said Dr. Al Othmani. The creators of the game gained a reputation for making successful marriages possible. Now, as the business goes online, people can actually make a transaction with a game maker they have never met.

This, say experts, makes the practice dangerous. And that is why so many people in the UAE are falling victim to fraud.

Fraud reduction

Police have been gathering on social media to attack the game’s creators, following complaints from scammers. Many fraudsters claim to be able to “bring the couple together in a legal marriage”, so they ask for huge sums of money and collect a lot of personal information: From several photos to age, job information, academic success, family background and more. In most cases, all of this information is collected without any guarantee that it will not be used to make black paper or any other case.

A senior official at the Sharjah police crackdown on cybercrime said they had found several Twitter and Instagram accounts providing game-making services in the UAE.

“Unfortunately, these accounts enjoy a wider following. The number of followers of each ‘character’ ranges from 40,000 to 80,000. What’s even more shocking is that there is a clear connection in the comment section, where people post personal information about those who wish to get married. Here, the protection of personal privacy becomes a matter of concern, ”he said.

The Times has tried to contact several owners of these social media accounts, but they have refused to disclose any information about their activities. The two account holders, however, have confirmed that they are using online matching services for business purposes.

Actor’s job: ‘This is a job I learned from my grandmother’

The maker of the show ‘Umm Hamood’ has confirmed that he has been in the industry for over 26 years now. Coupling is a ‘job’ he learned from his grandmother, who used to join him at weddings and engagement events.

“My grandmother instilled in me a love of this profession from childhood. It all started when I was able to arrange for the marriage of my neighbour’s daughters and relatives. From then on, my career as a matchmaker grew until I started my own licensed company called ‘Halal Marriage Seekers’, ”he said.

Umm Hamood explained that she would contact the people who would be her husbands by phone and know her idea of ​​being a wife. “I also visited homes, including those for unmarried girls, in order to find a suitable marriage mate.”

He was not used to doing everything online, he said. However he was eventually forced to use social media as it was a quick way to connect with the community and customers. In addition, there has been an increase in the use of digital communication tools.

How much does it cost

Explaining the amount of money he needed to work, he said: “I have set aside Dh5,000 for those who want to get married, both men and women. This includes connecting potential partners, initiating a conversation, and opening a file that gives them personal information, such as name, age, occupation, and location. ”

“All information will be kept confidential,” he said.

Thereafter, once the marriage contract has been signed, Dh15,000 will be paid by the applicant.

Many men, he said, aim to marry women with a higher level of education and between the ages of 30 and 43. All of these preferences are taken into account in providing this service, he said.

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