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Cyber Criminals Siphon Off Over Rs 9 Cr From Pune Residents

PUNE: The amount lost by victims of cybercrime in Pune has increased dramatically this year compared to last year. 42 cases were filed with the cyber police in the first week of September, with complainants reporting total damages of Rs 9.18 crore.

According to police records, 46 complaints were filed in 2020, but the total money lost was nearly two-thirds less at Rs 3.2 crore.

Sharing ATM card information and one-time passwords, according to cyber police, was one of the most common causes of fraud, followed by fraudulent business offers, false insurance, and gift-related crimes.

Most cybercrime can be avoided, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber) Bhagyashri Navatake, if consumers use extra caution when using netbanking or Uniform Payments Interface (UPI) services.

The increase in the amount lost can be due to the increased use of cellphones, according to cyber police inspector D S Hake. “People are more likely to click on links to hazardous websites while looking at their screens. Second, people reveal their ATM card or bank credentials with strangers without thinking about it,” Hake explained.

Most of the time, the victims believe the crook posing as a friend or acquaintance’s digital/virtual identity, according to Hake. “Assuming they’re engaging with a friend or relative, they disclose their bank account passwords, UPI application details, or debit/credit card information. People are frequently duped by internet business dealings and send money to the suspect’s account without conducting background checks,” he added.

 “This year, the majority of victims fell prey to gift baits and lost a total of Rs4.42 crore, while people lost a total of Rs1.83 crore last year after sharing their debit/credit card credentials,” Hake said.

“Similarly, people have lost Rs1.27 crore to fraudsters in herbal oil fraud instances – thieves floating false business schemes,” he said.

This year, the police have received over 350 sextortion complaints, despite the fact that the total sum extorted by the offenders was only Rs 84,000.

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