Cybercrime and fraud complaints such as hacking or creating fake email accounts to dupe people have witnessed a 200 per cent rise and complaints regarding hacking or creating fake social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram, have increased by over 100 per cent this year.
According to Chandigarh police, 198 complaints of cheating through fake email ID and 528 of hacking social media accounts have been received by the UT Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) till September 15, while the complaints received for these offences last year were 61 and 259, respectively.
A police official informed there was a steep rise in the number of complaints during the lockdown.
Inspector Devinder Singh, Incharge, CCIC said, “One should never respond to requests for money transfer received through email and social media accounts of friends. It is advisable to verify by calling them up,”
Recently, some fraudster had created a fake Facebook account of UT DSP Dilsher Singh Chandel and demanded money as financial help from people who were in the cop’s Facebook friends’ list.
Fraudsters are also targeting people through WhatsApp. This year, 119 such complaints have already been received by the police. A cop stated, “Fraudsters first save a person’s WhatsApp profile picture and then use it to target people by seeking financial help,”
Similarly, as many as 762 complaints have already been received by the police in regard to online cheating by using details of debit and credit cards and by sending fake links through which money is stolen have also gone up., in comparison to 876 received during 2019.
Meanwhile, the number of complaints of cheating through debit or credit card cloning or by exchanging cards has dipped this year as 592 complaints were lodged against 1,281 last year.
The police said several incidents where people were duped by posing as Army personnel were also reported. Fraudsters also duped people on the pretext of purchasing or selling some pre-owned product online. This year, 366 complaints regarding cheating through OLX have been received. There has been a steep rise in cybercrime in the past few years. In 2017, 2,242 complaints were received by the police, the number rose to 3,167 in 2018 and 4,793 in 2019. This year, the cyber cell has already received 4,308 complaints.
- Never respond to unverified emails, WhatsApp messages or requests from someone known seeking financial help.