States & UTs

    U'khand DGP & Cyber Crime Expert Dissects Drivers Of Online Fraud Surge

    The Hawk
    May14/ 2023

    Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar

    Noida / Dehradun: Cyber crime is increasing by the day across the country, but such incidents are especially on the rise in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi-NCR and many hi-tech cities.

    Talking to IANS, a 1989 batch cadre and Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar said that he has written a book 'Cyber Encounter' in which he has incorporated cyber crime incidents and suggested to readers ways to safeguard themselves from it. Excerpts:

    Q: Why are cyber crime incidents on the rise in the last few years.

    A: Cyber crime incidents are increasing as culprits online can cheat many people in one go. It does not require physical presence and recce due to which the chances of getting arrested are less. The culprits sitting thousands of miles away -- Jamtara, Nuh, Africa, anywhere -- can commit the crime.

    They purchase data from the dark net and send phishing messages and link about the app to different mobile numbers, and people fall prey to them.

    Q: Cybercrime incidents are increasing in Delhi and the NCR. How are techno savvy and educated people falling into the scammers trap?

    A: Techno savvy, illiterate, children, youth and elderly -- all are falling prey to cyber crime. Criminals are devising new ways to cheat people. These incidents are not only on the rise in Delhi-NCR but across the country. In 2022, over 10 lakh complaints of cyber fraud were lodged.

    The crime volume has increased so much that it has become difficult to arrest them. For example, if a robbers' gang comes to the city, it is easy to arrest them but it is difficult to understand how lakhs of scammers sitting in their homes will dupe people.

    Recently, in a case related to Uttarakhand, a cyber criminal has been arrested from Mewat against whom more than 200 cases have been registered. It can be estimated how many criminals must be his aides against whom thousands of FIRs would have been registered.

    Q: A different kind of crime is being reported in which frauds are being committed by continuously making WhatsApp audio and video calls. What sort of crime is this?

    A: Duping people by making video calls to them in the garb of sex is known as sextortion. When the criminals call you, a nude girl on the other side makes your video. After that these people will threaten you by pretending to be from the police department and cheat you.

    Q: Which part of the country is reporting the highest number of cybercrime cases?

    A: Cybercrime incidents have increased in all parts of the country multi-fold so it is difficult to tell which part registered the highest number of cyber cases. Cyber criminals are targeting people in any part of the country. But definitely, it can be said that it started from Jamtara, then spread to Nuh and now Mewat.

    Q: What are the types of cyber fraud?

    A: Though scammers are devising new ways and strategy to cheat people, in my book I have written about 12 patterns of cyber crime, including Honey Trap, ATM fraud, phishing, job fraud, KBC fraud and extortion.

    Q: What steps will be taken in the future to contain it?

    A: An Integrated Cyber Crime Coordination Centre has been set up which has facilitated filing of such cases.

    To contain such cases, the banking sector has to strictly scrutinise the details of anyone who wants to open an account. Till the time, the bank does not get the details of the applicant, his/her account should not be opened.

    The noose should be tightened around people who sell fake SIM cards.

    Q: Any suggestions for the common man?

    A: There are many suggestions. When you have not bought any lottery ticket, how can you win. When you have not made any investment how are you getting a bigger amount. When you receive a scammers call, you should ask such questions and act accordingly.

    Why are you getting trapped, accepting anybody's friendly request without even thinking whether the account is real or fake. The number of friends and posts on a fake account is very less. Such accounts are opened only for two to three weeks to commit fraud and then closed.

    Q: How necessary is it to have a cyber police station in every state and city?

    A: Every state and city should have at least one cyber police station because normal police stations do not pay much attention to such cases. Moreover normal police stations do not have trained people to handle such cases. On the other hand, if there would be separate cyber police stations, trained personnel would be there making it easy to track criminals and arrest them.