While the Chandigarh cyber cell booked a city man for cheating through an online advertisement claiming to provide admission to medical colleges here on Wednesday, the police say the case is just one among the numerous online frauds that they have been dealing within the city.
Interestingly, even the police have not been spared as the website of Chandigarh traffic police was hacked in November last year. The case is still under inquiry.
HT takes a look at the kind of online crime affecting city residents and how the unequipped cyber cell of Chandigarh police is consistently struggling to handle it.
The cyber cell of Chandigarh police has registered over 1,200 complaints from January 2013-January 2014, of which 290 are pending. While the maximum number of complaints are related to banking frauds, a new scam ensuring online jobs is doing the rounds these days, resulting in people losing money in lakhs.
Though the number of such complaints pending for inquiry is only 11, the police caution residents saying that such crime may affect many more in the future. The number of complaints received in the past year is much more, however, in most cases, the files have been closed, say police officials.
What is online job scam?
People get lucrative job offers from prominent companies. According to police, one receives an email offering a job interview from a prominent company. The mail demands the 'selected' candidate to send a demand draft claiming it to be refundable token money. However, once the money is paid, there is no further correspondence from them.
How these emails reach your inbox
The modus operandi tracked by the police suggests that these fake companies pick resumes posted at different job websites or other such email ids which are available readily, and send such mails.
A Sector 38-west resident registered a complaint with the cyber cell in March 2012, alleging that he had been offered a job abroad through emails, following which he had deposited `18.75 lakh in nine different accounts. However, later, neither the assured job was given to him, nor the money refunded. Status: Case pending.
A resident of Sector 15 complained in December last year that she had received a job offer from 'Wipro Technologies' via email. Believing the same, she deposited `8,250 as refundable security, but the offer was found to be fake later. Status: Accused traced, declared proclaimed offender.
A Sector-46 resident registered a complaint against a fake job offer from 'Larsen and Toubro Ltd' in October 2013, where he was duped of `9,500. Status: Under inquiry
In all, there are 28 pending cases from Jan 2013-Jan 2014 where complainants lost money to online frauds after they revealed their personal bank details on different websites. These include fraud through online shopping (11 pending cases) and email hacking (20 pending)
Do not respond to spam emails
Avoid filling forms in email messages that ask for personal information
Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to
If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency that requires your attention, it may be a scam
Have anti-virus software installed