BENGALURU: The city’s lone Cyber Crime Police Station (CCPS) is now seeing a new modus operandi being used to dupe people called the ‘gifts scam’. Several victims were scammed by certain websites as well as Facebook marketplace where high-quality products are advertised. However, on receiving the products, the victims realise that it is a fake. People have lost Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 to such scams.
“Two days ago, a godown was raided at Ramanagara where fake products were stored. They would advertise good-quality products and cheat customers with fake ones. This year, two cases were cracked - the second one by the CID cyber cell,” says K N Yeshvanth Kumar, cyber crime inspector in-charge of CCPS.
The station has been receiving at least five cases per day. One of the victims told The New Indian Express that he wanted to register a police complaint to shut down several fake websites. “I had lost only Rs 2,000, but more than getting my money back, I want to inform the police that the website Mindhole.com is fake and that others should not fall for it.”
Chetana Naik, a homemaker, had placed an order for a lehenga on Facebook marketplace but had put cash on delivery as the method of payment. Fortunately, the delivery person informed her that he had been receiving several complaints about the products being sold by that particular seller and that customers were also returning the products. Chetana immediately cancelled the order. “I still decided to register a complaint because lot of us think the products will be genuine since it’s being sold on a well-known platform. But there is no company policy to protect customers,” she told TNIE.
Essesse Satheesh, a product developer, said he had purchased a second-hand Apple watch. “But I received a fake and lost Rs 16,000,” he said.
Being the only cyber crime police station in the city, CCPS has registered 9,000 cases this year (as on Saturday). In 2018 alone, CCPS had registered 5,036 cases. Police officials say at this rate the numbers are likely to go up to 10,000 without the introduction of cyber cell stations in the city. Since the CCPS’ inception in March 2017, at least 12,000 cases have been registered so far, of which around 3,000 cases have been disposed.
“The numbers may seem alarming but that is because one station caters to the whole city. The CEN stations will come in soon but cannot say when,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Patil, who also heads the station.