Many conventional criminals have switched over to cyber crimes making use of the proliferation of technology and increased network connectivity in the internet era, Inspector General of Police, Central Zone, V. Balakrishnan said on Monday.
Operating from distant places, cyber criminals adopted various methods online to target gullible people to cheat and siphon off their money, thereby ruining their families, he said at an endowment lecture on ‘Cyber crimes and its impact” organised by St. Joseph’s College here.
Cyber crime was a pandemic and had become omni-present with no territorial boundaries for such criminals to operate and strike at their will, Mr. Balakrishnan said adding that proliferation of technology and increased networking connectivity had provided them the much needed platform to explore and indulge in such illegal acts.
Catching cyber criminals posed a real challenge for law enforcers as they operated from across the globe making use of the online platform. Many north Indian States had become hotbeds of online offences as many OTP (one time password) frauds originated from those States.
Technology provided such an advantage for cyber criminals that they chose the timing to target gullible persons to swindle their money. They indulged in financial frauds including OTP, loan and job trickery. Such criminals spoke convincingly while trying to obtain OTP from the victim for authenticating a transaction in a bank and eventually swindle their money once they got hold of the desired information over the phone.
Mr. Balakrishnan said non-financial cyber crimes such as cyber stalking and cyber bullying targeting women and children were happening in large numbers but many of them did not get reported to the police. Such criminals try to develop trust with women and girls and make use of their details to threaten them later.
Lack of awareness of technology, greed and ignorance were all reasons for victims falling to cyber crimes. “If we fall prey to temptations online, the consequences could be severe and the impact will be far-reaching in the longer run”, he said.
Urging the students to remain cautious and desist from sharing their personal details and information online to any unauthorised or unknown persons, Mr. Balakrishnan said it was essential to keep our gadgets such as computer, laptop protected and updated. He also advised them to desist from downloading email attachments sent by unknown persons.
Police in the Central zone had been involved in a sustained campaign against cyber crimes to create awareness among the general public at the grass roots as well. Separate helpline number 1930 had been created to enable the public to report about cyber crimes to the police, he added.