BENGALURU: The first six months of 2023 have seen a significant surge in cybercrime cases in Karnataka, with cybercriminals managing to steal around Rs 65 crore from unsuspecting victims. However, due to prompt action by the police and timely complaints from victims, approximately Rs 17 crore (26 per cent) has been prevented from falling into the hands of cyber thieves.
According to official data, a staggering 4,090 reported cases of cybercrime were recorded in Karnataka during this period, raising concerns over the safety and security of individuals and businesses in the region.
The cheated amount reached an alarming Rs 65.1 crore. Despite the alarming numbers, there is a silver lining as authorities successfully recovered Rs 16.4 crore from the clutches of cybercriminals and refunded Rs 65 lakh to victims, providing some relief to those affected.
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Comparison with Previous Year
Comparing the current statistics with the previous year reveals a disturbing trend. In 2022, Karnataka witnessed 8,760 reported cybercrime cases, with cyber thieves cheating victims out of Rs 76.9 crore. Although the authorities managed to recover Rs 14.7 crore from the perpetrators, the refund to victims amounted to only Rs 1.9 crore.
Cumulative Data in 18 Months
Over the cumulative span of 18 months, from January 2022 to June 2023, a total of 12,850 cybercrime complaints were registered, resulting in a jaw-dropping cheated amount of Rs 142 crore. During this period, the authorities succeeded in recovering Rs 31.1 crore from the cybercriminals and refunded Rs 2.6 crore to the victims. These figures underscore the severity of the cybercrime epidemic in the region and highlight the urgency for prompt action and heightened awareness to combat this growing threat effectively.
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Successful Convictions in Bengaluru
While the fight against cybercrime remains an ongoing battle, some positive developments can be noted. In the past five years, Bengaluru City has seen 25 cyber fraudsters brought to justice. The convictions occurred as follows: two in 2017, seven in both 2018 and 2019, two in 2020, three in 2021, and five in 2022. These convictions demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement agencies in pursuing and prosecuting cybercriminals to ensure justice is served.
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Steps to be Taken by Victims
To combat cybercrime effectively, individuals must be vigilant and proactive. In the event of falling victim to cyber fraud, immediate action is crucial. Victims should file a complaint through the Cybercrime Incident Response System (CIRS) within two hours of the incident, commonly referred to as the “Golden Hour.” Promptly calling the police control (112) or the national helpline (1930) is essential to initiate the process of freezing the money that has gone into the accounts of the accused.
The rise of cybercrime in Karnataka is a cause for serious concern. It is evident that cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics, making it imperative for individuals and businesses to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions. The success in recovering millions from cyber thieves and bringing some perpetrators to justice is commendable. However, a collective effort from law enforcement, victims, and the public is essential to curb this growing menace and ensure a safer digital environment for all.
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