Tech capital’s cyber-savvy citizens turn capital for fraudsters

At 10,000, Bengaluru saw the most cybercrimes than any other city: NCRB
Last Updated : 05 December 2023, 08:48 IST
Last Updated : 05 December 2023, 08:48 IST

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The tech-savvy netizens of Bengaluru were preyed on the most by cybercriminals as the city reported 9,940 cases of cybercrimes in 2022, according to the ‘Crime in India 2022’ report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Sunday.

According to a senior police officer, cybercrimes currently comprise 28 per cent of the total cases in the city.

The cases in Bengaluru with an estimated population of 85 lakh as per the 2011 census were more than the combined total reported by Mumbai (4,724) and Hyderabad (4,436) ranked second and third, respectively, the annual report revealed.

An analysis of the NCRB data revealed a 54.75 per cent increase in cybercrimes in 2022 compared to 2021 — showing a worrying trend in the Silicon Valley of India.

In 2020, Bengaluru reported 8,892 cybercrime cases. In 2021, there was a 27.76 per cent decrease as 6,423 were reported, but it rose significantly in 2022 as the total stood at 9,940. The charge sheet rate was at 22.6, the data showed.

Fraud main motive

The report revealed that the motive in 93.45 per cent of the cases was to defraud (9,289), followed by extortion (364), sexual exploitation (224), causing disrepute (26), personal revenge (20), emotional motives like anger (12) and others (5).

Around 9,501 cases in 2022 were of computer-related offences, including 6,319 cases of cheating by personation using computer resources. Data showed that 422 cases were related to the publication or the transmission of obscene or sexually explicit acts in electronic form.

Interestingly, the city reported zero cases of online banking fraud, OTP fraud, data theft and cyberstalking or bullying of women and children in 2022.

More netizens, more cybercrimes

State CID chief Dr M A Saleem said that the propensity for cybercrimes was higher in Bengaluru as the population of the ‘net citizens’ was more and there was an increased dependency on online financial transactions.

“Because of the sheer number, the vulnerability is also high,” Dr Saleem, Director General of Police (DGP), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Special Units and Economic Offences, told DH.

“Greed is also a key factor in many cases. Physical crimes like robbery, dacoity and house break-in thefts and chain snatching cases are coming down – giving way for digital crimes.”

The city has eight separate police stations dedicated only to cybercrimes and a main cybercrime station, the first in the country to be set up in 2001, at the CID building.

“All police stations are empowered to take up cybercrime cases,” Dr Saleem said.

“We are also training the station house officers (SHOs) of all the law and order police stations regarding the investigation of cybercrimes, handling digital evidence and how to extract data.”

The CID boss urged the residents to not respond to dubious messages, secure their digital credentials and mobile phones and never pick up video calls from unknown phone numbers on WhatsApp.

Common types of cybercrimes

  • Online/part-time job fraud

  • Debit/credit card fraud

  • Matrimony fraud

  • Lottery scams

  • Sextortion

  • OTP fraud, phishing

  • Cryptocurrency, stock investment fraud

Published 05 December 2023, 08:48 IST

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