Has demonetisation fuelled cyber crimes?
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Has demonetisation fuelled cyber crimes?

Yes, say experts. In GB Nagar itself, cyber crimes and online frauds have witnessed a threefold rise since demonetisation. Read on...

Has demonetisation fuelled cyber crimes?

Last year, on this day, high-value banknotes were demonetised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leading to a sharp spike in cashless transactions. Its repercussion? A drastic increase in cyber crimes.

In GB Nagar itself, cyber crimes and online frauds have witnessed a threefold rise since demonetisation. According to police data, in 2017, two cases were registered every day on an average. It further revealed that the number of cases solved also witnessed a defeating plunge.

According to data, the number of credit/debit card fraud cases reported at Noida’s Centre for Cyber Crime Investigation (CCCI) cell increased from 238 in 2016 (January to December) to 736 until November 4, 2017. Of the 238 complaints reported in 2016, the cyber crime investigation cell solved 186 complaints — logging a solving rate of 78 per cent; whereas in 2017, of the 736 complaints reported, only 242 cases have been solved, with a solving rate of 33 per cent.

“This drastic rise in the number of online frauds is a big task for UP Police. People need to be aware about the way fraudsters are duping them. We are taking stringent measures and are keeping a close eye on fraud online transactions. Also, history-sheeters are being kept under a close watch,” said Luv Kumar, senior superintendent of police, GB Nagar.

According to Vivek Ranjan Rai, CCCI in-charge, Noida, the number of police officers working in the cyber cell has remained same as 2016, but it can’t be cited as a reason for the low solving rate. He explained, “The number of officers currently working with the cyber cell is good enough to handle the increased pressure.”  

Rai added, “The linking of Aadhaar card is one of the main reasons for the increase in the number of cases. Topping it, fraudsters have also devised several methods to steal credit and debit card data to commit frauds. Cloning of cards, replacing cards at ATMs, cloning SIM cards to get OTPs are common practices these days.”

Kumar agreed.

He said, “After the banks made it compulsory to link Aadhar cards with banks, fraudsters have been calling up people, asking them to link their Aadhaar cards with their bank accounts and taking down all the details. Most of the cases have followed this modus operandi.” 

According to a CCCI officer, besides the increase in the number of financial frauds, other internet-related frauds and online abuses have also increased. All in all, the CCCI has seen a 265 per cent rise in the number of complaints over last year.

According to the police, timely reporting of complaints is essential in the resolution of cyber frauds. “In many cases, the victim loses crucial time in reporting the case. Tracing an online fraud becomes increasingly difficult with the passage of time,” said Rai.

So the way out? More awareness about cyber security, say experts.