In Gujarat, cybercrime up by 368% in 2 years
It’s not financial frauds alone but there has been a rise in the number of cases involving cyberbullying, threats and posting obscene sexual materials against women, which are being noticed by the state police over the last five years. In 2022, there were 5,228 cases involving social media accounts and in most cases more than 75% to 80% cases involved women.
According to the National Crime Research Bureau (NCRB), in Gujarat the most significant period for reporting such cases was between 2017 and 2020 where cases rose from 94 to 277 in 2020 – mainly involving cyber blackmailing, threatening, cyberbullying and posting of obscene contents pertaining to the victims. In all, 781 cases involving women victims were reported by the state police till 2020.
In 2021 and 2022, quite significantly cyber trafficking cases were reported where perpetrators fake a romantic relationship with the victims on social media to exploit them. The cases reported by the CID crime were 32 and 46 cases respectively for the two years.
Post-pandemic, which is between two years, 2021 and 2022, cybercrime complaints have risen 368% – from 17,237 cases in 2021 to 80,681 in 2022. This stupendous rise in overall cybercrime cases is because of a 530% rise in just online financial fraud cases – from 11,131 cases in 2021 to 70,183 in 2022.
SP, cybercrime, Subodh Odedara adds, “The biggest trap for victims of cyberfraud is the customer care numbers that appear against any services you search on Google. Be it banks, airline services, hospitals and other such services. One has to verify first whether it is a genuine site. We have been updating various search engines of these fraud numbers that appear on the first page.”
CID crime Cybercell, DySP B M Tank told TOI, “Cybercriminals feed on their victim’s greed, fears and laziness to con them. They use the same social engineering template – whether it be online shopping, electricity bill fraud or loan apps – of engaging them in a talk and then nudging them to click a link or share their OTPs. Gujarat has witnessed a steep rise in such complaints since the Covid pandemic.”