What do an incensed former secretary of the Delhi High Court Bar Association, a disgruntled cook from south Delhi and a lovelorn airline crew member have in common? Using technology to quench their greed, or appetite for the destruction of their perceived nemeses.
These cases constitute just the tip of the cyber crime iceberg, which recorded a phenomenal rise of more than 700% during 2010 compared to the previous year, making Delhi the second-most affected city after Hyderabad, which registered 51 cases.
According to the figures provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the Delhi Police registered 41 cases under the IT Act in 2010, while only five had been registered in 2009. Till September-end this year, 37 cases had already been registered.
"Interestingly, the number of cyber crime cases registered under the IPC saw a decrease of 100% - down from 12 in 2009 to none in 2010. But the increase in the number of cases under the IT Act points out the prevalence of technology to perpetrate only soft crime," explained a senior police official.
Only seemingly 'serious crimes' like forgery, counterfeiting and destruction of electronic evidence, in the commission of which technology has been used, can be registered under the IPC on a case-to-case basis.
However, anyone indulging in the transmission of 'criminal material' in an electronic format - using either the Internet or mobile phone - is liable to be booked under the IT Act.
"The most popular category of cyber crime seems to be that of defaming someone by creating fake profiles on a social networking website," he said.
"Most of the perpetrators of this kind of crime, which constitute 40% of cyber crime, belong to the age group of 18-25 years and commit it merely to take revenge or defame the victim," he added.
Police attribute another 40% of cyber crime cases to fraud and seeking economic gain, while the rest belong to miscellaneous category.
On their part, the Delhi police claim to have doubled the strength of their cyber crime cell - from one inspector to two - to tackle the growing menace. "The department is now working on double manpower, which has been drawn on the basis of technical expertise, especially with science background," he added.
While the police claim that only half the number of such cases are brought to their notice, complainants allege a long and tedious investigation of their complaints before converting the same into a criminal case, puts them off.