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Cybercriminals Caused A Dent Of Rs 155 Crores To Gujarat Residents During Lockdown



Cybercriminals Caused A Dent Of Rs 155 Crores To Gurajat Residents During Lockdown

AHMEDABAD: When peoples lives were brought to a standstill due to Covid-19 induced lockdown, online transactions saw a massive growth giving the fraudsters a bigger opportunity to attack more people.

In the year 2020, Gujarat state cyber cell helpline received 23,055 calls from cyber fraud victims who lost almost Rs 87, 65, 34,496 crores. The investigators were able to freeze Rs 10, 27, 51,800 crores out of it.

In the year 2021, in the past seven months, the helpline received 14,170 calls where a sum of Rs 67, 61, 43,585 crores was swindled from the victims’ bank account. The probe team managed to freeze Rs 11, 85, 29,252.

The Gujarat police received 37,225 phone calls from January 2020 to July 2021, where 85% were cyber fraud victims. The fraudsters cheated people of Rs 155, 26, 78,081. The police were able to freeze Rs 22, 12, 81,052. These were reported cases, the number could be higher as many cases go unreported.

ACP of crime branch, Praveen Singh in a media report said “lockdown alone is not the factor of increasing fraud cases, the greed of earning quick money, use of the digital mode of transactions, and answering to the calls from cyber crooks are the main reasons to a sudden rise in cases.” Praveen Singh feels that it’s a good thing that at least they have been able to freeze some money that was duped by the fraudsters.

According to the National Security Council Secretariat cybercrimes in India caused a loss of Rs 1.25 lakh crore in 2019 alone when Covid-19 was not even around. The latest IBM Security X-Force report affirms the country stands second to Japan in ‘attacks by cybercriminals’ in Asia-Pacific in the year 2020. Attacks on India made up 7 % of total global attacks. Finance and insurance industries were on the top attacked fields followed up by the manufacturing and professional services.

The cybercrime investigation explains that 85% of the phone calls received on the helpline are cases related to monetary fraud. “We are working in nearby coordination with internet and mobile phone service providers and can freeze at least some part of the money that complainants lost to criminals.”