BENGALURU: From 612 complaints in 2013 to around 5,700 complaints by the end of 2018, the number of cyber crime cases in the state has increased nine-fold in the last six years. However, an analysis of the cases between 2013 and 2015 shows that 62.9 per cent of them remain undetected. In order to address the issue, the police have decided to introduce dedicated Cyber, Economic and Narcotics (CEN) stations across the state.
As many as 369 of the 612 cases registered in 2013, making up 60 per cent of the cases, remain undetected. Of the 612, 410 were registered in Bengaluru, of which 285 cases - 69.5 per cent — remain undetected till date. Though the tech city of Bengaluru is the hub of cybercrime in the state, cities like Mangaluru, Hubballiand Shivamogga are also witnessing an annual increase in the number of these crimes reported.
Authorities attribute the low detection levels to challenges involved in tracking cybercriminals, including technical shortcomings, and lack of adequate personnel to deal with the mounting number of cases. Officials add that the police department is now working to address the problems.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, MA Saleem, Additional Director General of Police, Crime and Technical Services, said that CEN Police Stations are being set up in all the districts.
Using Central government funds, Rs 19.5 crore will be used to buy technical equipment for the CEN stations to help in tackling cyber crimes.
Also, a cyber forensic lab is being constructed at a cost of Rs 5 crore at Forensic Science Laboratory, Bengaluru, apart from other initiatives being taken to curb the menace, he said.
Types of crimes
Debit and credit card frauds by vishing — where victims reveal personal financial information to fraudsters over the phone — is the technique with the most number of cases. Cases of ‘character assassination’ using social media and morphed images are also being reported, such as the one where the cybercrime unit of CID had registered a case against the followers of a controversial seer for uploading a pornographic clip of a woman online. The other common cyber crimes are card skimming, job frauds, matrimony frauds and cases involving social media.
While almost everyone with internet connectivity is a potential victim of fraud, cybercrime complaints indicate that senior citizens may be more susceptible to them. In two cases reported at the Cyber Crime Police Station, Bengaluru, in the first four days of 2019, a 60-year-old was cheated of Rs 35.8 lakh while another 55-year old had lost Rs 6.86 lakh to criminals employing the vishing method. The losses suffered by vishing victims who are in their late 20s or early 30s were found to be between Rs 50,000
and Rs 70,000.
Recently, the 55-year-old chief finance officer of a Japanese firm’s office in Bengaluru received a mail appearing to be from his Swedish partner. The mail provided details of a change in remittance account of the Swedish firm and provided the new account details to which the firm in India had to transfer money. Based on the mail, he remitted $3,77,006 — equivalent to Rs 2.63 crore — to the said account. Little did he know that he was a victim of a trap.