How do you protect yourself from impersonation crimes?
Impersonation phenomenon has recently spread, where a person impersonates another person, whether through social media or in fact, as such crime has become more prevalent in our recent time through the information network of the Internet, such as if an ordinary person arrests a person driving a car and tells him that he is a traffic officer and asks him for identification papers such as (License – Car Registration Form). Moreover, as an example of impersonation through social media is that a person impersonates another person and takes his data and puts his picture on the Instagram or Snapchat sites and uses the same name and data in order to mislead people that he is the actual owner of the account.
Therefore, there is no doubt that the criminal’s objective of impersonation is to commit another crime, and to make material or moral gains from impersonation of such personality or capacity. Let us assume that a person impersonates another person who is known to the public in order to defraud others, steal their own account, or offend certain people. We find this in certain people who send a website to a person in order to steal his account on social media or enter a bank’s card data and transfer the amount to his account. It happens also that the individuals get to trust such people, so the impostor collects one million Riyals within a month by stealing their data.
Accordingly, the Qatari legislator has, within Cybercrime Prevention Law No. (14) for the year 2014, regulated this crime in article (11), and it is punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding (3) years and a fine not exceeding QR (100,000) (One hundred thousand Qatari Riyals), or by one of these two penalties, such as using the information network or one of the information technology means to impersonate a natural or legal person, or to be able, through the information network or an information technology means, to seize for himself or for others a movable money or a document or sign it, by fraud, and by taking a false name, or by impersonation of an incorrect capacity.
How do you protect yourself?
- Make your user identification numbers and passwords for your bank accounts and registered mail accounts as secure as possible.
- You should not reply or click on any anonymous link and do not reply and give out any personal information whether it is mobile number, email or bank account information.
- When you discover that you have been impersonated, you must hurry up and take a photo of the impersonator’s page and file a report either through “Metrash” application or personally go to the cybercrime department. Accordingly, the relevant authorities will take the necessary measures to arrest the impersonator.
- When you are exposed to impersonation actually on the ground, you must refrain from giving any information about yourself, and try to obtain any data on the original identity of the impersonator, such as taking his name, the number of the car he is driving, or any information that may be useful to the police in reaching him, and quickly go to the nearest police station and give a report about the impersonated person, so that the relevant authorities can take the necessary measures to arrest the criminal.
- How to file a complaint through Twitter program:
- Login to the impostor’s account and click on the three dots on the left side of the screen.
- Click on Report.
- Click on the fourth option (Pretending to be me or someone else).
- Choose the fourth option “Another person”
- Write the name of the original owner, not the impostor.
- Press on send a report to Twitter.
- How to file a complaint through Metrash (2) program:
- Log in to Metrash program.
- Click on contact us.
- Click on the economic and electronic reports.
- Click on the electronic crimes option and fill in the required fields. If you are the owner of the account whose identity has been impersonated, you will be contacted by the Department of Electronic Crimes, and then they will ask you to attend and hand over the mobile phone, and bring the original passport in order to take the necessary measures.
- Make sure to submit a report through Twitter program as well as Metrash (2) in order to take the necessary measures against the impostor, and to protect others from being hacked into their accounts.
Author: MR. AL-HUSSEIN NASR\ Legal Consultant