VIJAYAWADA: Most cybercrime victims in the State lack awareness on digital privacy. They do not discuss such issues with their families and friends, and fall prey to computer-oriented crimes such as online lotteries and bank frauds.
In their investigations pertaining to the cases related to such crimes, the police observed that more than 90 per cent of victims lack proper knowledge in dealing with bogus messages from fraudsters and get entangled in traps laid by them. In most cases, it has been observed that victims speak to their families about the incident only after losing money.
In one such case, Suresh (name changed), who works as a collection agent in a timber depot in Vijayawada, hid from his family the fact that he lost Rs 8 lakh in a online lottery scam and approached cybercrime police seeking action against the culprits. In his complaint, he said he had received an e-mail a few months ago that said he was one among the five in the country to win Rs 1 crore cash prize.
He, believing that the claim was genuine, sent the scamster his address and received a debit card in return from him. Suresh was also asked to deposit Rs 50,000 in the accused’s account. “Suresh paid around Rs 8 lakh in different installments. When he was not able to withdraw any money from the debit card, he realised he was cheated and filed a complaint with us,” Kagitha Srinivas, Circle Inspector-Cybercrime Police Station, said.
According to the data released by the police department, 1,439 cases of cybercrimes were registered in the State in 2018 as against 1,145 in 2017. As many as 467 OTP fraud cases were reported in 2018 as against 538 in 2017. Though there is a decline in OTP frauds, rise in spam mails and lottery scams is giving the police sleepless nights.
“If the victims had discussed the spam messages they received with others in the know, they might not have lost money. There is a need to create awareness on techniques to combat cybercrimes to which even educated people fall prey to. Campaigns in this regard will be taken up,” he said.