Despite Delhi Police having a specialised unit under the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the Crime Branch to investigate white collar crimes, cases of online fraud are on the rise in the capital. Last year, the EOW handled 7,338 complaints and investigated 975 cases. Of these, 1,290 complaints were disposed of and cases registered in 253 complaints. However, the number of cyber crime cases registered in 2016 was just 49. According to sources, the increase in cheating cases is an alarming indication of how, in the changing socio-economic scenario, an increasing number of educated people are entering the world of cyber crime to earn a quick buck.
A senior police officer said that there has been a sudden rise in white-collar crimes, especially property and bank fraud, in the last three years. “Profits from fraud cases in the capital would be equivalent to the value of all stolen goods in a year,” he added.
He added that until a few years ago, victims of online fraud were often not aware of the legal means they could pursue against fraudsters. “Now, people are alert and are approaching the investigation agency concerned. Cases are registered under sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (fraud).”
An officer tasked with investigating online fraud said such cases need extensive investigation. Many times, during the course of the probe, police find that the accused has duped others as well.
“In one such case involving a Nigerian national, we found that the accused would call people and say they had won lakhs or crores. The victim would be asked to deposit a certain sum in an account. Several people were duped using this modus-operandi,” he said.
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