Image used for representational purpose
CHANDIGARH: For online swindlers, plastic money is the real thing! So much so that their misdeeds have surpassed other cybercrimes recorded from January 1 to December 11 in the city.
In more than 5,000 complaints — 5,556 to be precise — that cyber cell received in the nearly 12 months, a quarter of them (1,330) were related to debit and credit card frauds in which accused took out money by getting hold of PIN, OTPs and other details from their victims. Next on the list were vulgar messages and threats on phone and email hacking — 1,066. Then came 956 complaints of cheating while buying and selling products through OLX, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. A total of 708 complaints were of frauds on the pretext of providing jobs, winning online lotteries and providing loans and 458 of hacking of Facebook/Instagram IDs and harassment on social media.
The cyber cell received 186 complaints related to transactions through UPI in three months. Most of the people tricked into sharing OTPs were inexperienced in the usage of online wallets, according to cyber experts and cops. Police suggested people should be aware when they have not conducted any online transaction through their Paytm or other wallets, they would not get an OTP.
The cyber cell lodged 65 FIRs from January to December 11 as compared to 80 in the entire 2020, when 6,537 complaints were received. As many as 4,793 complaints were received and 35 FIRs lodged in 2019 and 3,167 complaints and 35 FIRs in 2018.
Cops said investigating cyber fraud cases consumes time and is a long process. “We face problems like taking account details from banks and telecom companies. Sometimes, these entities take a lot of time in giving the information,” said cops.
The cyber cell has 70 cops, including a DSP, one inspector, five sub-inspectors and 10 assistant sub-inspectors. The proposal of setting up a separate cyber cell police station is pending with the administration since 2016 .