The number of cybercrime cases reported in the national capital spiked during last year’s lockdown period, from nearly 2,000 in March to over 4,000 in May, as fraudsters adopted new methods to cheat people, the Delhi Police said on Friday.
According to data shared by the city police, 62 per cent of the cybercrimes reported in Delhi were related to online financial fraud, 24 per cent were related to social media and 14 per cent to other cybercrimes.
The data showed that from March to May 2020, when restrictions were in place due to the outbreak of COVID-19, there was a rise in cases related to cybercrimes. It went up from around 2,000 such cases in March to more than 4,000 in May.
Speaking at the annual press conference, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava said cybercrimes peaked during the COVID time and declined later. He added that his force was dedicated towards solving the cases and creating awareness to prevent such incidents in the future.
“Our CyPad is at the central level in our force which looks after these cases. Each district in Delhi has specific cyber cells. We analysed cybercrimes and the cases reported to us. They had peaked during the COVID time and declined after a few months,” Shrivastava said.
Elaborating on the new modus operandi adopted by cyber criminals, the Delhi Police said fraudsters targeted people by creating fake government websites offering financial assistance, subsidies and government jobs.
Extortion using edited porn videos, customer care, online search manipulation, phishing links in the name of schemes, and news and alerts pushed through emails and WhatsApp were other methods used, police officials said.
People were also duped in the name of KYC verification, e-SIM upgradation, the police said.
“People created fake government websites providing jobs to doctors and nurses for COVID patients. There were people selling sanitisers, PPE kits, food and groceries with help of fake websites and cheating people. Some hackers also gained access to bank accounts with KYC platforms and took money. QR code cheating through Olx app became famous. Accused posed as customers and sent QR codes which when used would deduct money from victim’s account,” Prem Nath, Joint Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell), said.
In the 66 cases registered in connection with mega cyber frauds last year, where in 1,65,265 victims were targeted, 213 people have been arrested, according to the data.
The force has trained 1,280 officers to investigate cybercrime cases. This training was imparted through video calls during the lockdown, the Delhi Police said.
Police officials said they are working with 44 banks, e-wallet companies and online merchants to prevent such crimes.
“Talks are underway to bring RBI ecosystem on our live-testing portal which is developed by Delhi Police,” they added.