Ludhiana saw 54% upsurge in cyber crime in 2019, says NCRB report

Fraud was the leading crime among these cases, constituting 57% (21) of the total 37 FIRs registered
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Published on Oct 16, 2020 11:04 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByTarsem Singh Deogan, Ludhiana

Cyber crime in Ludhiana increased by 54% last year as compared to 2018, even as the district led in Punjab followed by Sangrur (20) and Mohali (18), finds the latest report by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB).

Fraud was the leading crime among these cases, constituting 57% (21) of the total 37 FIRs, which were 13 more than the 24 cases lodged in 2018. The year before that (2017) saw 33 such cases.

In 11 cases (30%), the accused tried to sexually exploit women using information technology. These included six cases of cyber stalking or bullying of women or children. There was also one case of publication or transmission of obscene or sexually explicit act in electronic form.

Four FIRs were lodged on the complaints of victims of cyber blackmailing or threatening. Besides, there was one case each regarding tampering of computer source documents and computer-related offences.

The Ludhiana police have a dedicated cyber crime unit, focused on tracking down miscreants misusing technology to commit crimes.

In 2019, a total of 54 people, including five women, were arrested for cyber crimes.

The unit in October 2019 had busted a Delhi-based call centre whose four employees were booked for duping people of at least Rs 100 crore by luring them with lucrative insurance policies for over seven years.

They are also hot on the trail of fraudsters posing as army men and conning unwary people on the pretext of buying their second-hand goods off of e-commerce websites. The gang has duped at least six city residents of lakhs on the pretext of buying their mobile phone, air-conditioner or motorcycle through online marketplace OLX.

Onkar Singh Pahwa, managing director of Avon Cycles, was among the victims of online frauds last year. Pahwa had filed a complaint at the Division Number 6 police station after fraudsters redeemed his mutual funds after opening a proxy bank account in his name.

Anoop Gupta, an IT expert and managing director of Cyberframe Infotech Pvt Ltd, said devices, such as mobile phones, computers and laptops, had IMEI numbers, which led police to the people using these gadgets for unscrupulous activities.

He said residents needed to be cautious against fake text messages, e-mails and phone calls offering prize money or KYC and bank account verification. These methods were used to trick them into revealing their personal information and then further fraudulently withdraw their money through various tactics, Gupta cautioned.

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