QUEEN’S ROAD:Cases of cyber crime are rising in the country’s IT capital. According to the State Crime Records Bureau, 636 cases were registered in Bengaluru alone in 2014. This is a significant jump from 395 in 2013 and 342 in 2012.
A majority of the violations come under Section 66 of the Information Technology (IT) Act, and relate to sending viruses and stealing information.
In 2014, 447 hacking cases were booked while the year before, the number was 247. The numbers for 2015 have not been collated. In 2014, there was a new entry — identity theft, with 132 cases being reported. Data on such cases was not collected earlier under the it Act, says D Roopa, former SP, cyber crime division.
Cases of identity theft fall under three broad categories: hacking social media accounts, stealing credit and ATM card details, and stealing employee data.
Few obscenity cases: Very few cases concern sex-related crimes online. In 2014 and 2013, only 15 and 28 cases were registered respectively under Section 67, relating to the publishing of obscene material in electronic form.
“Police do not consider obscenity via technology a top priority or a national threat. They see it as a cultural phenomenon,” says Pavan Duggal, advocate specialising in cyber law.
Criminal lawyer Siji Malayil says only cases that become sensational and force the police to take suo motu action “cross the threshold.” He says many women are too embarrassed to go to the police.
Card number stolen: On October 11, Mahesh Patil Kulkarni received a call from a man who claimed to be from the Reserve Bank. “The caller said the banking system was changing and he needed my 16-digit card number to create an entry for my Aadhaar card,” he recalled.
Kulkarni gave the caller the number and within half-an-hour, Rs 30,000 was gone from his account. When he approached Soladevanahalli police, they allegedly refused to take his complaint, and directed him to the cyber crime branch on Carlton Road.
Every day, Siddalingappa, Deputy Superintendent of Police (cyber crime), calls up police stations to make them aware of new-age crimes. “Recently, I called three police stations to instruct them to file complaints. There is a lack of awareness at local police stations on how to approach cyber complaints,” he says.
One case of identity theft stood out last year. “A former teacher who had worked at an international school gave out personal details of students to her new school. Parents received calls luring them with cheaper fees,” an investigator said.