The golden hour has now become the most critical way to save victims from cyber crime attacks. The crucial golden hour – the first significant 24 hours after a crime has taken place – is the time wherein there is a possibility to recover the money that an individual or a business has lost.
Mumbai’s Cyber Crime units have been successful in recovering more than 90 per cent of complainants’ money, all because of the window available right after the fraudulent transaction has taken place. Of the Rs 1.11 crore lost by victims to cyber criminals, Rs 1.1 crore has already been recovered.
The Golden Hour complaints are different from the FIRs related to cybercrime cases. To empower their action against cybercrime, the Mumbai police have also established a cyber cell in every police station.
A cyber police officer revealed that if a person who has been cheated approaches the police within 24 hours of the transaction, police recovers the money using the stop payment mechanism. As soon as they receive a complaint, they give the bank details of the complainant and the method of cheating and the bank stops the money from being transferred.
The banks are reached out by the police via email and phone. There have been 228 cyber fraud complaints within the first 24 hours, in which, Rs 1,11,75,966 has been collectively lost. Prompt action led to Rs 1,01,67,633 being recovered. The highest numbers of complaints i.e. 130 have been received from Zone XI (Malad).
Joint Commissioner of Police Vishwas Nangare Patil appealed to the people to prevent themselves from becoming cybercrime victims by approaching the police without delay. There is a possibility of recovering the money within the Golden Hour.
There have been numerous people who have been saved in that particular bracket of time.
Satyendra Jain, a 67-year-old Customs Excise Superintendent, got his money recovered in a week through the method. He had transferred from one network service provider to another and had Rs 1,000 in his previous account for which he sent the company an email requesting his money.
Unfortunately, his mail was hacked. Someone called him and asked him to download a certain app and credit Rs 10 in order to get his money back. After doing so, he received an OTP which was also received by the fraudsters on the hacked mail ID through which they got a hold of Rs 36,000.
He immediately rushed to Malad Police which contacted the bank and blocked the transaction.
Another intriguing incident happened with Dharmesh Patel, a 36-year-old Dahisar resident who received a message offering to double his money by downloading an app. Falling prey to the fraud he downloaded the app and deposited Rs 30,000. But soon he got a call saying that this scheme was not in place and he has to submit Rs 1 lakh for receiving 7 lakh. He took a loan from his relatives of Rs 1.42 lakh. But after the transactions when he did not receive the required amount and his calls started going unanswered, he realized that he had been tricked by someone.
Patel went to Dahisar police, gave his bank statement, and the transaction was blocked by contacting the bank. He got his money back in four days. He later said that he got lured by the scheme because he was unemployed during the lockdown.
These incidents should act as a warning bell for all of us – to not fall prey to such dazzling false schemes and opportunities. And, in case you have become a victim, make sure you contact the cyber crime police in your area within the golden hour.