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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: In just one month, citizens lost over Rs 1.4 crore to various cyber frauds in the State, said Twin City Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi on Tuesday.

“From an analysis of the available data, we have found that cyber criminals have duped over Rs 1.4 crore from people in different parts of the State. The Commissionerate Police has been able to block transactions worth Rs 7.19 lakhs. 239 SIM cards used to make such fraudulent calls have been blocked so far,” said Sarangi.

Sarangi said that the newly set-up Cybercrime Helpdesk received over 1200 complaints from distressed citizens who reportedly fell prey to the various swindle ploys of online fraudsters.

Out of the 1200 complaints, 368 were from Bhubaneswar alone.

The Police Commissioner said that already a proposal for setting up a dedicated cybercrime police station in Bhubaneswar has been submitted to the State government and the Odisha Police. The proposed unit is likely to come up this year, he added.

On a positive note, the Commissioner said, due to spread of awareness, people are not sharing personal information or OTPs whenever they receive anonymous calls from fraudsters.

Analysis of data has also revealed that most of the fraudulent calls were made from Jharkhand, Deoghar in Bihar, some villages in West Bengal, Rajasthan, Kerala and other parts of the country.

“Most of the fraud calls were traced to other States while a few originated from Odisha,” said Sarangi.

The Police Commissioner said that the main objective of the Helpdesk is to provide immediate assistance to victims of online fraud during the initial hours. "We appeal people to immediately share phone numbers from which they are getting such fraud calls," he said.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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