As the nation marks one year of demonetisation, challenges thrown up by the exercise are far from over.
Rise in online transactions, following notebandi, has led to a spurt in cybercrimes with the Noida and Greater Noida police registering three times the number of online fraud cases since last year.
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 October) to 736 in 2017 (January to November 4) . However, the rate of solving these cases has gone down drastically.
Of the 238 complaints reported in 2016, the CCCI cell solved as many as 186 — a success rate of 78%; whereas in 2017, of the 736 complaints reported so far, the cyber cell has solved only 242 cases – a success rate of only 33%.
“There has been a drastic rise in the number of online fraud complaints. It is a big task for the Uttar Pradesh Police. People need to be aware about these crimes as the fraudsters are keeping pace with technology and coming up with new ideas,” said Luv Kumar, Senior Superintendent of police, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Mr. Kumar explained that linking of Aadhaar card to bank accounts has been one of the reasons for the increase in the number the online frauds. After the banks made it compulsory for their customers to link Aadhaar card with their account, fraudsters started using this exercise to dupe gullible victims. They would ask people for their Aadhaar card and bank account details with a promise to link the two. Most of the online fraud complaints are of this sort, said the senior police officer.
“We have now geared up and are giving trainings to our people to deal with such frauds. We have selected young people who are tech-savvy,” he added.
Vivek Ranjan Rai, in-charge of CCCI, Noida, said though the strength of police officers working in the cell has remained the same as 2016, their number is good enough to handle the increased number of complaints. According to a CCCI officer, other Internet-related crimes and online abuses have also gone up. Overall, the CCCI has seen a 265% rise in the number of complaints over last year.
Timely reporting of complaints of cyber fraud is very essential, the police said.
“We have observed that in many cases, tracing an online fraud becomes increasingly difficult with the passage of time,” said an officer. Also, fraudsters have devised several tricks to steal credit and debit card data. Cloning of cards, replacing cards at ATM booths, and cloning SIM cards to get OTPs are common practices these days, the officer added.