At a time when the state government is insisting on strengthening cyber crime investigations, especially after demonetisation, Gurgaon police are still registering cases for complaints as old as a year.
While a delay in lodging cases in these pending complaints is evident, sources say that registering of FIRs in bulk is an attempt to clear the year’s backlog. Hence, it is not an indication that the police force has suddenly become proactive.
“Most of the FIRs relate to complaints about incidents that happened in the first half of 2016. Although the police’s focus is on cyber crime cases post demonetisation, the bulk filing of cases at the year’s end is not surprising,” a police official said.
In comparison to the 1,200 cases regarding misuse of debit and credit cards lodged till last week, officers at different police stations lodged such 100 FIRs in just the last three days of 2016 — December 29 (20), December 30 (50) and December 31 (30). Among the 30 cases filed on December 31, only seven complaints were submitted after November 8 (the day of demonetisation announcement). In one such case, a police officer posted in Punjab’s Amritsar was duped of ₹40,000 in an alleged ATM card swapping case on Saturday in Udyog Vihar.
All the other cases concerned incidents that took place before Centre’s demonetisation announcement. In one of the cases, Shiv Kumar, a resident of Khedla village filed a complaint at Badshahpur police station on January 23, 2016, about an unknown accused duping him of ₹41,500 using his debit card details. In another case, in a complaint filed on February 3, 2016, Gurgaon resident Madhukar Srivastava accused an unknown person of siphoning of few thousands from his bank account through online banking transaction.
According to police records, 2,270 cases related to cyber crime were registered at the Cyber Crime Cell till December 21, 2016. Of these, 1,260 cases are related to online banking frauds.
Since November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes, the Manohal Lal Khattar-led BJP government in Haryana has been pushing cashless transactions besides directing the police to investigate online fraud and cheating cases on priority to dispel digital security fears among residents. Apart from strengthening the Cyber Crime Cell, the state also set up the country’s first centre for digital investigation and training in Gurgaon this year to enhance cyber policing and monitor social media content. Billed as a first-of-its kind centre, the Digital Investigation Training and Analysis Centre (DITAC) was inaugurated by Khattar on Wednesday.
In most cases, the account holders were either duped of money in vishing, in which victims are tricked into parting with account/credit and debit card details through phone calls by fake bank representatives, online shopping, ATM swapping and e-wallet transactions.
In two of the cases registered on Saturday, Madhubala, a resident of Hayatpur was duped of ₹1.44 lakh on November 1 while Shokeen, of Badshahpur, was duped of ₹1.08 lakh in a credit card fraud on April 4.
“The cyber frauds will increase. We have been expediting the past cases to create awareness among people,” said police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar.