With technology becoming smarter, Odisha has been witnessing a corresponding increase in the cases of fraud, harassment and threats in cyber space.
Cyber frauds also witnessed a spurt in the Twin City catching the Commissionerate Police off guard amid a significant surge in online transactions during the lockdown months just like last year.
Online frauds to the tune of around Rs 6 Crore have been reported in the Twin Cty in the last six months. Cyber crime is now rampant in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, so much so that the Twin City Police has received around 1700 complaints pertaining to such cases in the last four months.
According to police sources, online fraudsters are using innovative ways to cheat people. Most of the cheating cases are being reported through debit and credit cards. Cyber looters are also blackmailing individuals by chatting with them through messaging apps and demanding money from them. There has also been a surge in e-mail sextortion rackets in the last few days. These sextortionists happen to have leaked e-mail IDs and passwords of people.
Experts opine that cyber criminals have sharpened their skills after shifting their focus on carrying out illegal activities more on social media assuming that people would spend more time online during the lockdown.
By particularly spreading messages like 'get free mobile recharge’, such criminals generally prompt people to click spam links so that they can harvest more data by directing people towards fake websites.
There are many online payment applications and wallets that are being used to cheat people. On the pretext of giving cash back or lottery claims, cyber criminals are using screen sharing apps to cheat people. As many as 300 such cases have been reported in the Twin City alone in the last six months.
Similarly, people have been cheated on the pretext of phone pay and cashback rewards with as many as 200 such cases have been reported in the Twin City during the period. Senior citizens have become more vulnerable to the cyber fraudsters, said reports.
“There has been a drastic increase in cyber crimes. Anti-socials are using innovative methods to dupe people. We are being equipped to tackle this evolving threat with the help of latest technology and trained police personnel. Commissionerate Police has launched a help desk to redress cyber crime,” said a police official.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)