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Cyber criminals swiped ₹21 crore from Chandigarh residents so far in 2023 | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Cyber criminals have defrauded city residents of a whopping 21 crore since January 1 this year, police data reveals.

Through concerted efforts, police say they have also arrested 100 cyber criminals this year. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Of this, police managed to freeze 2.5 crore from going into the criminals’ accounts and 60.4 lakh have already been refunded to the complainants as per the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP), while police are in the process of recovering the rest of the amount.

Through concerted efforts, police say they have also arrested 100 cyber criminals this year. They were arrested from various states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Gujarat and Rajasthan. While cyber crime has been growing at a rampant pace, officials explain that tracking these criminals is a difficult task, as such crimes have no boundaries.

With the arrest also came recovery of 177 mobile phones, 290 SIM cards, 78 debit cards, three credit cards, six laptops, three cars and four trucks.

Even last year, around city residents lost 34 crore to cyber crime, but police also managed to arrest 144 fraudsters, a major spike from around 30 annually until 2021.

“The police department has been able to freeze a large amount of money from going to the accused’s bank accounts because of citizens’ awareness. While efforts must be made not to engage with any type of cyber fraudster, in case any money is lost, a call should immediately be made to the 1930 helpline number. This will help police keep the money from going to the fraudsters and it can be recovered later,” said superintendent of police (SP, Cyber) Ketan Bansal.

To avoid people falling prey to cyber crime, police have also conducted awareness workshops in 53 schools and other places like Sukhna Lake and Sector 17, reaching out to an estimated 2 lakh people.

Five more scammers in police net

Cracking three more cases, cyber crime police have also arrested five fraudsters over the past week.

As per police, Dattatreya of Kedar Bhaban, Kolkata, was arrested for duping a city based Colonel of 1.3 lakh through dating apps. The complainant was asked to pay money for registration, gold card and other services, none of which were actually provided. Police are currently tracking down other accused in this case.

Police have also arrested Vijay Kumar of Jind, Haryana, for creating a Chandigarh resident’s fake Facebook profile and uploading objectionable pictures of her. Police said the woman was known to Kumar and had a dispute with her.

Then, three men from Delhi were held for duping a Sector 21 resident of around 24,000 by claiming to be from a bank and convincing him that an insurance scheme was active on his credit card. To get this cancelled, he was sent OTPs. As he shared these, he ended up losing 23,905.

The Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre of the Union ministry of home affairs has also been informed about these cases.

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