Experts alarmed at spreading online begging on social networking sites

Updated 14 April 2016
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Experts alarmed at spreading online begging on social networking sites

ABHA: Online beggars have started using social media where they direct their messages to draw sympathy through stories from inside Saudi Arabia.
Information security expert Mohammad Al-Sareai said the information revolution has contributed to the spread of online/electronic begging using forged documents and fabricated stories and posting them across social networks such as Twitter and WhatsApp.
“People usually seek to collect funds for mosques or treatment under nicknames and fake accounts, where electronic begging is considered the latest means of fraud. Electronic begging and fraud are two sides of the same coin, and aim to deceive people into raising funds illegally. The crime of fraud is considered among the most frequent occurring cybercrimes on social networking sites,” he said.
Al-Sareai added that Article 4 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law covers “acquisition of movable property or bonds for oneself or others or signing such bonds through fraud or use of false name or identity. Any person who commits said crime shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding SR2 million, or to either punishment.”
Sheikh Ahmed Al-Muabi, said that “cyberfraud and begging have become widespread in our communities, and we can never tell if they are all liars, but it is the new means of begging and we should, in fact, be cautious about it.”
He added that no doubt it is human nature to feel sympathy and compassion, but people should first investigate the source, because God has made it clear to whom zakat should be given: “Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah.”
Dr. Mohammed Kisnawi, sociology counselor at the University of Umm Al-Qura, said that the person should deal with such messages with caution and advise the sender to go to charities.
“We should not forget the need to educate individuals on circulating news about a person who gives zakat, where this helps increasing the phenomenon of begging,” he said.
Kisnawi continued saying that society should be aware of the risk of circulating such messages, rather make sure to reach out to competent authorities.”
Khaled Al-Jelban, a family and community medicine consultant at King Khalid University, indicated, “families must educate their children about practices of begging across social media … and community institutions should direct charitable work among our youths to official authorities, which already provide services to those in need.”


Iranian regime continues to feed sectarianism: Saudi deputy defense minister

Updated 41 min 16 sec ago
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Iranian regime continues to feed sectarianism: Saudi deputy defense minister

  • “We have to choose between the chaos that Iran spreads and stability, security and development,” he said
  • Delegation led by Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz in Russia for an official visit

MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman said the Iranian regime continues to feed sectarianism and disrespect international laws at the eighth Moscow Conference on International Security on Wednesday.

“We have to choose between the chaos that Iran spreads and stability, security and development,” he said adding that “Iran is spreading chaos in the region through destruction and bloodshed, and by supporting the militias of Hezbollah and Houthis.”

“Houthi militias continue to violate the resolutions of the Security Council and the Stockholm Agreement, ignored UN resolution 2216 and the Gulf initiative…our goal is to achieve stability for Yemeni citizens under a legitimate government,” he said.

Prince Khalid reiterated that peace and security were top priorities for Saudi Arabia, and that the Kingdom was working together with other countries to achieve that aim.

"Today's participation in this conference is part of the continuation of its efforts in combating terrorism for the safety of all people and nations," he tweeted.

The deputy defense minister also said that the Kingdom is witnessing today an unprecedented transformation and development to achieve the vision 2030.

A delegation led by Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi deputy minister of defense, are in Russia for an official visit, during which the members took part in the eighth Moscow Conference on International Security and hold a number of meetings.

Prince Khalid was welcomed by Saudi Ambassador to Russia Dr. Raed Qurmali, military adviser Maj. Gen. Talal Al-Otaibi and Military Attache Gen. Mohammad Al-Mutairi, along with the deputy chief of staff of the Russian defense ministry and other civilian and military officials.