Led by financial fraud, cyber crime touched peak in lockdown months

By Zafar Abbas
New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS)
As the cyber criminals expanded their tentacles in the capital in 2020, the Delhi police CyPAD (Cyber Crime Prevention, Awareness & Detection Unit) was on its toes reading the modus operandi of the cyber frauds and taking action.
Around 1,500 cases of cyber crime were reported in the month of January 2020 which increased to around 3,000 by November. Moreover, during the lockdown months and immediately thereafter, there was a significant increase in the incidents of cyber crime with the number of complaints reaching a peak of around 4,500 in the months of April, May, June and July, 2020. Later, it has come down because of the sustained effort of the cyber crime unit to arrest criminals involved in cyber crime.
“Among the complaints received by various victims, the predominant ones are of online financial fraud, accounting for around 62 per cent of the total. 24 per cent of the complaints have been related to the social media, primarily online harassment, and the rest 14 per cent of other cyber crimes such as hacking, identity theft, data theft and some more,” said DCP Cyber Crime Anyesh Roy.
The incidents of online financial fraud outnumbered others by a big margin and a major contributor to this is the lack of due diligence or carelessness on the part of the victims.
“It is primarily due to this reason that Delhi Police keep emphasising through awareness posters, radio jingles, videos, etc. that one should not share their personal information or credentials with unknown people out of some temptation or for monetary benefits,” the officer added.
Cyber criminals are repeatedly coming up with new ways to scam people. A perusal of the complaints received by Delhi Police reveals that cases of extortion by morphing videos of people (especially related to sexual conduct) have increased manifold. Apart from this, reimbursement of fake reward points or cashbacks, SOS messages through fake Facebook accounts, Customer Care number manipulation through search-engine optimization resulting in frauds in the guise of refund of airline tickets and other online payments, etc. are other modus operandi that cyber criminals have adopted to dupe people.
(Zafar Abbas could be reached at zafar.a@ians.in )

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