Cybercrime plaints on rise during lockdown

ByJayprakash S Naidu, Mumbai
May 14, 2020 11:35 PM IST

The anti-phishing portal of the Maharashtra Cyber Police, which deals with all kinds of cybercrimes, has witnessed a spike in instances of cybercrime with around 200 cases being reported in April and around 150 complaints till May 13.

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A majority of the complaints are bank-related frauds while there is a spike in government related frauds during lockdown. “Banking frauds are those where fraudsters use phishing or vishing to get people’s bank details and government related frauds are where fraudsters impersonate as government servant or use misleading posts on social media to trick people to transfer money, such as fake accounts for PM CARES fund or government schemes for the poor,” said a police officer from the cyber police department.

According to information provided by the Maharashtra cyber department, since June 2019 till May 13, 2020, a total of 1,563 complaints of cybercrime have been received. As per a month wise bar diagram of complaints shared by the department, none of the previous months saw the number of complaints go beyond 150. However, in April this year the number of complainants shot up to 200 and there have been 150 complaints in just 13 days of May.

Explaining the action taken on the complaints, Balsing Rajput, superintendent, Maharashtra Cyber, said, “As soon as we receive complaints on the portal from people about fraudulent phone calls or websites or a fake profiles on any social media platforms trying to cheat them, we get in touch with the concerned service provider, social media platform, search engine, intermediaries and alert them about the alleged misuse. It’s their responsibility to take further appropriate action. We also conduct a follow-up to ensure action is being taken from their end.”

Of the total 1,563 complaints, a majority of 660 are banking frauds, 548 are other cyber frauds, 98 are lottery frauds, 79 investment frauds, 76 job portals, 69 fake government related frauds, 21 are matrimonial or dating frauds and 12 are impersonating as security forces.

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