Anant Pandurang Murgund, chartered accountant, had the shock of his life when his bank informed him that money had been siphoned off from his account. Someone had hacked into Murgund’s account and stolen his net banking code and shopped online with Rs62,000 of his money.
The 78-year-old is not alone to get the shock of his life. Lots of Mumbaikars have become victims of cyber crime. Fallout: The Mumbai Police wants the state government to set up a cyber crime police station exclusively for south-central Mumbai.
Senior police inspector Ashok Jagdale of MRA Marg police said Dadar resident Murgund lodged a complaint with the police on July 16 alleging that someone had fraudulently got details of his net banking numbers and drawn out nearly Rs62,000.
“By hacking his account cyber fraudsters got access to his net banking code. Then going online they changed his mobile number so that he didn’t receive bank transaction alerts. Investigation revealed that someone had gone on an online shopping portal and made transactions from the victim’s account. The IP address used for the transactions was traced to Gurgaon in Haryana,” Jagdale said.
Cases registered with the city police in the first seven months of this year show that cyber crime has doubled when compared cases registered in the first seven months of 2012. Statistics also shows an increase in cases registered against obscene emails and credit card frauds.
As many as 15 cases of threatening and defaming people through obscene emails, SMS and MMS were registered in the city between January 1 and July 28 as compared to six cases registered in the same period, last year. Detection, however, has also increased. While seven people have been arrested by the police in these cases this year, only one person was arrested last year.
Cases of credit card frauds have also increased from six cases in 2012 to eleven cases this year. There is also an increase in other IT Act related cases, from 13 last year to 45 (2013) between January and July. While the total number of cyber offences registered last year between January and July 28 were 31, the number of cases registered this year during the same period has gone up to 76. In 2012, 23 people had been arrested as compared to 40 arrested this year for cyber-crime offences.
“People have become net savvy and the anonymity of cyber space gives fraudsters an opportunity to strike. Cases of obscenity, hacking and credit card fraud have increased and this is a trend, which is here to stay. We are taking all possible measures to ensure this menace is curbed. To keep pace with changing technology our personnel are enhancing their knowledge in this field,” said joint commissioner of police, crime, Himanshu Roy.
“In May this year, somebody had posted a bogus advertisement with my contact details on an online shopping website stating that ‘It wanted to sell a two-wheeler at a lesser price’.
The miscreant also posted my mobile number and residential address on the portal. In four days, I received as many as 200 calls from people asking me about the advertisement that was placed in my name. I lodged a police complaint and it was found out that a neighbour of mine was involved in the act. Nowadays, cyber-crimes are so rampant that one should be very cautious while they are using the internet,” said cyber-crime victim I Gindra.
Lawyer and former IPS officer YP Singh said that in most cases it becomes very difficult to get conviction as the investigation is incomplete. “Most policemen are not aware of cyber-crime laws. Data is stolen from India and the money is withdrawn from abroad. Thus the investigation is incomplete and it becomes difficult to get conviction. Also cyber-crime cases are considered as low priority by the police,” Singh said.
“Skimming machines that skim credit card details are used for making payments through cards. The magnetic strip on the card contains the customer data which is read by the machine for making a transaction. It is possible to doctor the machine and then the data can be retrieved and credit cards can be cloned.
First thing never give your credit card to anyone. All over the world people swipe credit cards on their own and make cash payments for small purchases,” said cyber expert Vijay Mukhi.