Cybercrimes increased by 64% in Gujarat: National Crime Records Bureau

Image: Gujarat High Court

During the COVID19 pandemic when human interaction was limited and people had to rely on online services, digital transactions witnessed a huge jump last year.

This increase in digital traffic also led to an increase in cybercrimes due to limited awareness and preparedness.

The report on Crime in India released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has revealed that in 2020 cybercrimes increased by 64 per cent in Gujarat compared to the previous year. According to the NCRB report, 784 cybercrime offences were registered in 2019 and the numbers shot up to 1283 in 2020. In 2018, 702 cybercrime offences were registered in the state.

Of the 1,283 cybercrimes registered in 2020, 875 were of fraud. “Before the pandemic, digital transactions were not very popular. But Covid pushed people to go for contactless payment and many started placing online orders to avoid venturing out of their home. This volume of digital transactions gives an opportunity to cyber frauds,” said Jaydeepsinh Jadeja, DCP (Crime), a Time of India report added.

“The conmen started duping people who were new to digital payment method and hence the cyber fraud offences went up in 2020. The digital transactions are completely safe if people follow the guidelines and not fall for the fraud calls,” Jadeja added.

Some of the most common cyber fraud cases were people making fake social media profiles of eminent personalities and seeking money from his or her online friends. Also, the many got duped by the cyber frauds who posed as defence personnel looking for rental accommodation and siphoned money online, the report added.

“Cybercrime cases have increased as people have taken to digital monetary transactions and the internet too has become cheaper. We educate people about the precautions they should take while making digital transactions through social media and awareness programmes,” said Dr Sudhir Desai, superintendent of Vadodara Rural police.

He added that the victims now immediately approach police due to which they have been able to prevent transfer of money in the fraudsters’ bank accounts or reverse the transactions.

In the total cybercrime landscape, online social media fraud consists of 24 per cent, online financial fraud is at 56 per cent. “Most of them are linked to frauds related to UPI in which money is debited by scanning a QR code. 99 per cent of people are unaware that when someone is asking them to scan a QR code it is for taking their money (unlawfully),” said Prof Triveni Singh, IPS SP. Cybercrimes, Uttar Pradesh Police, India.

“In present times, KYC (Know Your Customer) can be bought, a virtual number can be rented from overseas. The crimes can be committed via a virtual number and once the crime is committed all accounts connected to that number are deleted and at times it becomes difficult to track when organisations do not report the incident,” said Singh.

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