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Begging in the virtual world is illegal

Swindlers exploit feelings of philanthropists

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 2: Some weak souls are stamping on the emotions of social media users by exploiting their kindness in order to earn “haram” through solicitation of money online “virtual begging”, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Some people claim to be in need of money for various reasons either in the form of a public plea for help or personal message, making it seem as though they are coping with the technology in this respect.

They have shifted from the streets and market areas to sitting in front of their phone screens to puff out their poisons. Some masquerade as important figures in the community, such as royals, in order to achieve their objective. Despite the fact that there are laws criminalizing cyber-begging just like laws against begging in general, the number of beggars is growing.

They are swindlers who exploit the feelings of philanthropists in the virtual world. In this regard, Dr Naima Taher explained that a person on the Internet had asked for money under the pretext of requiring dental treatment.

He posted a picture of his teeth, which was in a bad condition, and insisted that he refused to receive treatment from any doctor except the one he trusts. It was later discovered that man was a swindler, and the pictures were taken from the Internet.

There are many such stories which resulted in many philanthropists becoming victims of cyber-fraud. Also, a Professor of Sociology in Kuwait University Prof. Hamad Al-Aslawi said, “Those who beg in the virtual world suffer from low religious and moral considerations, as they claim disease, poverty and destitution”, affirming that majority of them avoid personal contact with their victims and prefer virtual encounter, which is what distinguishes the Internet. He stressed that the victims lack awareness and culture, and they are moved by emotions into becoming victim; however, the level of awareness has risen relatively in the society.

Prof. Al-Aslawi said, “Kuwait, being a forerunner in the humanitarian aspect, has become a palatable target for fraudsters of this kind”, highlighting the need for victims to publish their stories in order to alert others of the danger of falling into this trap.

In addition, a Professor of psychology in Kuwait University Khodr Al-Baron said, “Laziness and greed are the most common psychological characteristics of fraudsters begging on various social networking platforms”. He went on to say, “If you give him money to open a project, he will reject, because begging is the fastest way to wealth for him without any hardship or effort. A beggar feels a great urgency to seek help, no matter how well he or she is financially, and amid existence of people who donate money to them and pamper them”.

Prof. Al-Baron warned that there are people whose job is to beg in the virtual reality, and in the end, they are all associates who share the daily spoils.

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