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Rising online frauds in Gurgaon may hinder cashless operations

Online banking frauds constituted over half of cyber crime incidents registered in Gurgaon

gurgaon Updated: Dec 25, 2016 23:32 IST
Gulam Jeelani
Gulam Jeelani
Hindustan Times
cyber crime,sandeep khirwar,phishing
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar with the previous commissioner of police, Navdeep Singh Virk, during an inspection of the Cyber Crime Cell in May.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

At a time when cashless payments are fast catching up among residents, online banking frauds, including swapping of debit/credit cards, constituted more than half of cyber crime incidents registered in Gurgaon.

According to police records, 2,270 cases of cyber crime were registered with the Cyber Crime Cell. This is a 15% increase from 1,923 such cases registered in 2015. This year, as many as 1,260 cases, more than 55%, were related to online banking and cheating through credit/debit cards.

In 2015, half of the total cyber crime cases concerned debit/credit cards frauds. With online banking gaining popularity, even officials had predicted a spurt in cyber crimes.

Since November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation move, four cases of frauds through e-wallets have been registered.

“People have to be very careful in sharing information, such as bank details, with unknown people. Phishing frauds have become quite common these days,” Sandeep Khirwar, the commissioner of police, Gurgaon, said.

On December 5, a retired army man was duped of Rs75,000 after he fell prey to phishing. An unidentified caller, who claimed to be a bank official, conned retired Captain Baljit Singh of Arjun Marg in DLF Phase-1 of Rs50,000 and Rs25,000 using his credit cards.

Card swapping at ATM kiosks was also on the rise. In an incident, the head of an automobile parts manufacturing unit in Manesar was duped of Rs1.49 lakh by an unknown person who switched his ATM card on the pretext of offering him help to withdraw cash on October 15.

After bank account frauds, cases of cheating through the internet were most reported. In 238 such cases, many residents were duped by false advertisements.

In a case registered on December 22, a 38-year-old software engineer was duped into paying Rs25,000 for what he believed was a laptop but turned out to be a laptop case with a granite slab inside the packing.

As many as 144 cases related to social networking site Facebook, such as the use of morphed pictures and hacking of accounts, were registered. On June 26, a woman complained that her estranged husband had allegedly hacked her Facebook account and was sharing inappropriate content.

Data thefts are also common in the IT hub that is Gurgaon. As many as 40 cases were registered, the latest of which pertains to the arrest of two ex-employees of a BPO, Quattro Global Services Private Limited, for allegedly stealing the firm’s customer database using spy goggles and using it to float a new firm in Dehradun.

Due to a spurt in online fraud post-demonetisation, the Haryana government has decided to strengthen the Cyber Crime Cell of Gurgaon.

Additional chief secretary (home), Ram Niwas made the announcement in this regard during a review meeting of officials and bankers in Gurgaon earlier this month. Niwas asked Gurgaon commissioner of police Sandeep Khirwar to ensure that the process is expedited and taken up on a priority basis.

“We will definitely take necessary steps to improve the efficiency of the Cyber Crime Cell in 2017. We may press more hands into the department and will also get the latest software and equipment,” Khirwar said.

First Published: Dec 25, 2016 23:32 IST