Cy­ber­crimes up by 16% in 2015

LACK OF AWARE­NESS Po­lice claimed to have solved around 50% of th­ese crimes, warn res­i­dents of on­line job of­fers

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­

Cy­ber­crime cases in the city rose by 16% in the past year, ac­cord­ing to sources in Navi Mum­bai crime branch.

The city cy­ber cell reg­is­tered a to­tal of 1,418 cases in 2015 as op­posed to 1,223 cases in 2014. The po­lice claimed to have solved around 50% of th­ese crimes.

Lack of aware­ness among the res­i­dents is one of the main rea­sons be­hind this rise in cy­ber­crimes, said sources in the po­lice, who also said peo­ple were not show­ing in­ter­est to­wards the aware­ness cam­paigns con­ducted by the city po­lice.

In 2015, lot­tery fraud cases rose by 60%. As many as 48 peo­ple were vic­tims of lot­tery fraud last year against 30 peo­ple in 2014.

The po­lice reg­is­tered six data theft cases last year as op­posed to four cases reg­is­tered in 2014. Cases re­lated to so­cial me­dia have also risen by 28%.

“One of the ma­jor prob­lems is on­line cheat­ing and il­le­gal trans­ac­tion. Cul­prits call vic­tims on their mo­bile phones and in­tro­duce them­selves as bank of­fi­cials. They then ask for bank de­tails on var­i­ous pre­texts. The un­sus­pect­ing vic­tims share their de­tails such as pin num­ber and pass­word, date of birth, card num­bers and lose huge amounts of money. They get to know about the trans­ac­tion only af­ter re­ceiv­ing an SMS or e-mail from their banks,” said Prat­i­bha Shendge, po­lice in­spec­tor of Navi Mum­bai cy­ber cell.

Ac­cord­ing to Shendge, this prob­lem had seen a down­ward trend in the be­gin­ning of this year. How­ever, they reg­is­tered six such cases on Wed­nes­day again.

Dilip Sawant, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (crime) said, “Many cul­prits lure their prospec­tive vic­tims with job of­fers, tour pack­ages and so on through e-mail or SMS. If vic­tims show in­ter­est in their of­fers, the fraud­sters ask for money de­posited into their bank ac­counts. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the money, they stop re­ceiv­ing the vic­tims’ calls.”

“Peo­ple should not to re­spond to such of­fers where they are asked to pay a huge amount of money in ad­vance. They should not share their credit card and debit card de­tails, pass­words and se­cret num­bers with any out­siders for their own safety,” he added.

Cases of abus­ing calls and text mes­sages have also in­creased no­tice­ably. A to­tal of 92 such cases were reg­is­tered in 2015 against 65 cases reg­is­tered in 2014.

Sev­eral in­ci­dents have taken place in the city, wherein cy­ber thieves hacked into un­pro­tected WiFi sys­tems and sent threat mails. One such mail had been sent from a hous­ing so­ci­ety in San­pada a few min­utes be­fore the Ahmed­abad bomb blasts in 2008. Anti-Ter­ror­ist Squad (Mum­bai) later de­tected the case and ar­rested the cul­prits who had hacked the WiFi sys­tem.

“Last year, we con­ducted a spe­cial drive to check un­pro­tected WiFi sys­tems. A sim­i­lar drive will be started soon to en­sure that all wire­less in­ter­net sys­tems are se­cured,” Shendge said.

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