In the last three years, Gurugram has been classified as one of the critical zones where cybercrime has reached a higher dimension in India
According to statistics, cybercrime rose by 36 percent in 2017. There were 1,954 complaints filed in relation to online frauds, credit and debit card cases. Despite the efforts of the Gurugram police to track down the cybercriminals, the crime rate continued to rise for different reasons. In 2017, 3,252 cases were recorded with over 200 cases each month.
With the emergence of the electronic payment system, the fraud case has increased significantly. There were 1,343 online cases recorded in the cybercrime branch in 2016 while 1,848 cases were also recorded in 2017.
An official of the Cybercrime Branch believes that the digital medium makes people vulnerable to fraud as it continues to be new to them. “The digital medium continues to be a new one for many people; they can be easily fooled by the criminals and be robbed.” He continued: “Most of the online theft cases happen through a sale or a service call where cybercriminals through the course of the conversation are able to get your account numbers and carry out the thefts. These criminals have now made a move towards online payment mediums where they are able to get your one time passwords (OTP).”
The victims of cyber fraud in the Gurugram are not only the illiterates but the educational elite. About 90 percent of the victims are people with good educational backgrounds and IT professionals. Multinational companies lost a huge sum of funds and many sensitive data to the fraudsters. One of the common methods used by these hackers is the phishing method. Due to how effective this method has proved to be, a lot of people have become victims.
With respect to the higher growth of cybercrime in the city, Inspector Anand Kumar Yadav of the Cyber Crime Cell has said that an awareness program has been organized to educate the public most especially the teens about what is happening around them and how to stay safe. According to him, the banks should also play their part to take an urgent action when fraudulent activity is suspected. It is obvious that the crime rate cannot be done away with drastically, but it can be controlled to some extent.
In February this year, the police arrested two people in connection with call center fraud. They called users in a deceptive manner and obtain their account information from them. A lot of people are victims of this. Also, a gang of five was arrested in a Ponzi scheme this year and a similar arrest last year. Even though authorities have different ways to control the situation, the cybercriminals also have different ways to operate. In some other parts of India, the youth find no problem with cybercrime as they have been secretly trained to make a living in such a manner.
In 2013, the number of online fraud cases was 248 but increased by nine times to 2,095 in 2017. The number of complaints received had an unprecedented rise by 350 percent from 2013 to 2017 and a 44 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. Email hacking is another area that has increased in recent years. In February, hackers took over the Twitter handle of a private airline and sent out tweets which nearly affected the reputation of the company.
These figures are expected to multiply in 2018 and the coming years if nothing is done to control the rate at which people take advantage of the internet.
Some of these scammers also have a deep connection with the darkweb as they find better prices for hacked data on the platform. The Darknet also has cheaper prices for all the sophisticated devices needed to engage in cyber fraud. For example, fraudsters purchase a tool on the darknet and strategically place them on an ATM to monitor information of credit card users.
This information is either sold or used by the skimmers themselves. On this note, the Gurugram police have become very vigilant and are ready to do all that it takes to track down these cybercriminals.