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Spurt in cyber crime keeps city’s cops busy

When Sri Lankan national Umesh, alias Jatti, conned several people in Canada into parting with their credit card details and swindled several lakhs, he exposed the vulnerability of internet users to phishing scams and fake sites. Umesh, who was arrested two months back, had been running a fake credit card manufacturing unit in Valasaravakkam and had bought credit card and bank information from the international internet black market, which sells such data for as little as Rs 20 for a card. He’s just one of the few scamsters who fell into the police net though.

The cyber crime wing of the city police has been seeing a steady increase over the years in the number of such complaints. Till November 2009, the cyber crime wing received 920 complaints compared to a mere 35 in 2003.

In 2005, the cyber crime wing had got 173 complaints, of which they registered 28 cases. Subsequently, this number doubled to 350 in 2006, of which 17 cases were booked. In 2007, the number of complaints further doubled to 702 and the cyber crime branch booked 22 cases. In 2008, the crime branch got 852 complaints and registered 31 cases.

This year, while the complaints have shot up to 920 so far, 42 cases have been registered so far. It’s the highest since the wing was formed. “We are dealing with hacking of e-mail ids, online cheating, software theft, and posting of obscene pictures, apart from other computer and mobile phone related crimes.

Recently, many Nigerians were arrested for an online lottery scam,” a cyber official said. With white collar crimes on the rise, the cyber crime wing clearly finds itself snowed under a pile of investigations.

Source: TOI

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