With the rise in cyber crime cases, the latest trend seems to indicate that harassment and gaining control of data through social media are preferred over committing fraud.
While it might not come as a surprise that Maharashtra tops the list with the highest number of such cases registered, it is interesting that the Internet is being used not just for illegal gain, but as a means to harass and gain control over others’ lives.
According to statistics provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of cyber crime cases registered in Maharashtra in 2011 increased by 115.5%. While 142 cases were registered under the Information Technology Act in 2010, the number rose to 306 in 2011.
Moreover, of the total accused arrested in these cases of cyber crime, 140 fall in the age group of 18 to 30.
“It does not come as a surprise that Maharashtra has the maximum number of cyber crime cases registered. We have observed that the main motive behind such crimes is economic gain and as Mumbai is India’s financial hub, these incidents occur more here,” additional commissioner of police (crime) Niket Kaushik said, adding that awareness is another reason behind the rise in the number of such cases.
According to the NCRB statistics, of the total number of cyber crime cases registered in 2011, 129 were committed with the intention to harass and/or gain the satisfaction of control, and 96 were committed for monetary gain.
An officer from the cyber crime cell said most cyber criminals commit offences in the spur of the moment and are unaware of the repercussions.
The Mumbai police take help of cyber experts like Vijay Mukhi in difficult cases. “But the cyber cell is trained to tackle simple cases on their own,” another officer said.
Cyber expert and author of Are You Protected, Vicky Shah, said, “Harassment or satisfaction of gaining control is more a psychological problem than a cyber crime. In 90% of these cases, the tormentor is known to the victim and has been in a relationship with the victim which later turned sour. Hence, with the intention of getting back at the person, the accused tries to use Internet. These people consider the Internet a safe option as they can keep their identity hidden and yet achieve their goal.”