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Cyber safety remains a concern in Mumbai

By Vijay Kumar Yadav & Jayprakash S Naidu
PUBLISHED ON DEC 29, 2019 12:28 AM IST

The number of cybercrimes reported in the city rose to 2,228 in 2019, compared to 1,362 in 2018. According to data from Mumbai Police, the detection rate dropped from 19% in 2018 to 12.74% this year. Detection rate refers to the proportion of offences for which police have identified the perpetrators.

Of the 2,228 cases registered this year, over 1,000 involved various crimes like banking, matrimonial and e-wallet frauds. Of the remaining cases, 775 were are related to credit and debit card frauds; 239 concerned obscene messages; 64 contained fake social media profiles while 34 cases of phishing, hacking and frauds were reported along with 26 cases of email spoofing. Only in 849 of these cases were the accused identified.

Police commissioner Sanjay Barve said one reason for the low detection rate was that cybercrimes are often committed by offenders outside Maharashtra. “We are in talks with multiple stake-holders, including email service providers, to discuss measures that can effectively check the rapid increase in cyber-crimes,” said Barve. Cyber law specialist and advocate Vicky Shah said, “Our police department is not taking serious efforts to investigate cases. For FIR of cyber-related frauds it takes minimum seven to 270 days for registering FIR. The fear of understanding the emerging technology is now becoming deterrent for the cops.” Shah said Mumbai Police should have a dedicated cybercrime team at each police station. Barve said a plan for new cyber police stations was under consideration. Cybercrime investigation expert Ritesh Bhatia said it was essential to hold service providers accountable too. “Banks, e-wallets, social media sites and other applications are trying to make their product more user-friendly. But service providers have to stress more on strengthening the security.”

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