The National Crime Records Bureau report for 2022 showed that 17,470 cyber crimes were registered in India, up from previous years. and Bengaluru, the ‘IT capital,” which had topped the list the previous years too, accounted for nearly three-fourths of the cases recorded in 19 metro cities.
Every other day, Bengaluru reports some form of cyber fraud. As many as 18,000 cases related to cybercrimes were registered in 2023, with a maximum detection rate of a mere 7%. The most novel and widespread types of cybercrimes are Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) fraud, courier fraud, sextortion, online job fraud and cryptocurrency online investment scam. This is concerning, because more than half of Indians are active internet users today.
Victims of such frauds go through a harrowing experience, some of them losing large chunks of their life’s savings, not to mention the mental trauma they suffer.
So who are these perpetrators, and where are they operating from? One would assume that Jamtara in Jharkhand, which even inspired an OTT series, continues to be the headquarters of cybercrime in India. But law enforcement agencies say there are new hotspots emerging: West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala, Gujarat, and areas surrounding Delhi.
With a multitude of challenges, how is the police trying to combat cybercrime, which is the focus of law enforcement agencies along with narcotics in Bengaluru?
And crucially, what should you watch out for in order to protect yourself from cyber fraud?
Read more: Caught in a web | There is no free meal. Don’t let your guard down in the cyber world, says Commissioner Dayananda
Presentation: KC Deepika
Production: Ravichandran N and Nalme Nachiyar
Inputs: KV Aditya Bharadwaj, KC Deepika, HS Shreyas, Imran Gowhar