NOIDA: Mukul Goel who recently took the charge as the new Director-General of Police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh directed to conduct a cyber awareness campaign across the state and train the police force to check the rising cases of cyber crime.
Goel said the nature of cyber crime is changing very fast and the cases are increasing at a rapid pace so it is most important to control it. “People are not much aware of cyber crimes, even policemen are becoming victims of latest fraud. So we need to train our staff and spread awareness among people to check cyber frauds,” said Goel who inaugurated a two-month-long cyber awareness campaign started by Agra Zone in association with Cyber Peace Foundation and Rakshit Tandon.
Goel highlighted that the increasing use of mobiles and computers has made financial transactions and social conversations very easy. But it has also resulted in an increase in cyber crime which has now taken a global and multidimensional form.
He said there are no boundaries of cyber crime, unlike usual crime. A cyber criminal can be sitting anywhere and doing the fraud. Cyber criminals through the medium of Phishing, Malware, Cloning, Online Fraud, Pornography, Piracy is causing financial, mental and physical damage to the common man.
“At present, cyber criminals are targeting pensioners in large numbers. On the pretext of digital update or change of nominee etc they are fraudulently obtaining access to sensitive information like login id, password, ATM details and even OTP to illegally withdraw money from their account,” Goel said.
He advised that to avoid getting trapped in such cyber crime, people should not give away their personal information on the phone to anonymous callers.
Goel also highlighted that cyber criminals have made several fake websites through which they are duping people on the pretext of jobs, loans etc. To stay safe it is better to connect with the company on their official website.
He also focused on social media crime. Goel said cyber criminals on Facebook using fake ids are creating clone accounts of public figures. Then through the cloned accounts they are contacting friends of the target and asking for money citing different emergencies. He suggested it is always better to contact the person and confirm his emergency before sending the amount.
Giving out statistics, Goel said 10,341 cases, 11,772 cases and 5,077 cases of cyber crimes were registered in the year 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively. He added that through National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCCRP) so far 50,000 cyber complaints have been received which clearly indicates that there has been a sharp rise in cyber crime and proactive action against it is a good solution.
In the year 2016, cyber crime police station in Lucknow and Gautam Buddh Nagar was opened. In the year 2020, the government started 16 cyber crime police stations in different regions of the state. We have so far registered 256 cases in which 400 cyber criminals were arrested and over six crores was recovered.
It must be noted that Goel is among the few DGPs who has taken countering cyber crime as his top priority.
There is a proposal of setting up an advanced forensic lab at the cyber crime headquarters and basic forensic labs at 18 cyber police stations. To investigate cyber crimes cases cyber crime team (CCT) is set-up at the police station level. Similarly, District Cyber Crime Cell (DCC) and Zonal Cyber Crime Cell (ZCCC) is set up at district and zonal level respectively.
“We have made website www.cybercrime.gov.in, WhatsApp number 7839877207 and Twitter handle @cyberpolice_up for complaints of cyber crime. We are also conducting regular training of policemen at CCPWC Lab situated in cyber crime headquarters which will help them in investigating cyber crime cases,” he said.
Goel explained that a dedicated call centre has been set up at headquarters where police officials are deployed to address such cases. Policemen take down details from the complainant and register an FIR and initiate the action.
Cyber Crime Helpline Number by the Home Ministry 155260 is functional round the clock and will cater to complaints of fraudulent withdrawal of money bank accounts. Goel explained that a dedicated call centre has been set up at headquarters where police officials are deployed to address such cases. Policemen take down details from the complainant and register an FIR and initiate the action.
He advised that if someone becomes the victim of cyber crime they can immediately contact the helpline. The Sooner a victim contacts us, the chances of recovering their money increases.
Goel stressed upon the need for more cyber awareness programmes. He said more awareness will help us keep a check on increasing cases. This will also help people in understanding what to do and how to report cyber crime if they have become a victim. If the complaint is made to the police as the incident has taken place then effective action can result in freezing the account in which stolen money is parked.