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2023, The Year of Online Scams | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

The Year of Online Scams: India’s Cybercrime Surge in 2023

In a year marked by the agonies of a pandemic and the ensuing chaos, the year 2023 also witnessed a worrying surge in cybercrime in India. A wave of online scams swept across the nation, leaving countless citizens bereft of their hard-earned money. The scams were as diverse as they were insidious, using a variety of innovative methods to deceive unsuspecting individuals.

Troubling Surge in Online Scams

Among the most notorious of these scams was the electricity bill scam. Fraudsters, posing as legitimate electricity suppliers, deceived people into making fraudulent bill payments. The QR code scams were another significant menace. In these scams, criminals exploited the quick response code system, a tool designed for convenience, to swindle money from unsuspecting victims.

From Visa Frauds to Fake Profiles

Salman Qureshi, a prospective student at the University of Manchester, was scammed out of Rs 90,000 by an individual posing as a visa officer. Fraudsters have found fertile ground in the recent tightening of immigration rules by the UK government. They impersonate immigration officers, demanding penalties ranging from 600 to 1,000 euros. In a similar vein, some students have fallen victim to counterfeit identification schemes pitched as limited cards for overseas students launched by universities.

The cybercrime cell of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad police has received two dozen complaints since the start of the year, with victims being cheated for amounts ranging between Rs 50,000 and Rs 3 lakh. Fraudsters have created fake Facebook profiles of IAS and IPS officers to gain the trust of their victims. A journalist in Pune lost Rs 70,000 to a scammer using a fake profile of IAS officer and Pune collector Dr. Rajesh Deshmukh.

Stepping Up Cybersecurity Measures

These incidents underscore the pressing need for enhanced cybersecurity and increased public awareness about online safety. These scams are not simply a testament to the audacity of fraudsters but also a reflection of the evolving nature of cybercrime. They indicate a continuous challenge posed to individuals and authorities in safeguarding against such fraudulent activities. In the face of this threat, the importance of viewing every unidentified online request or communication with skepticism and cross-checking their authenticity becomes paramount.


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