Updated: March 14, 2022 9:10:56 am
In the last three years, Karnataka lost a whopping Rs 221.17 crore to cybercrimes and only 21 per cent (Rs 47.04 crore) of the money has been recovered, said state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. Notably, Bengaluru alone has lost Rs 129 crore to cybercrimes during the period. The minister made the disclosure in the House while responding to a query raised by MLC Sunil Vallyapure.
Karnataka reported at least 32,286 cases between 2019-2022 (till February) and only 7,835 such cases have been solved, resulting in the arrest of 1,243 people. During the same period, only 75 persons have been convicted for cybercrime, the minister said. Notably, these cases are related to online phishing, one-time password (OTP) and social media frauds.
Jnanendra also said that Karnataka lost Rs 23.36 crore in 2019 but the numbers increased manifold after the outbreak of the pandemic — Rs 72.82 crore in 2020 and Rs 100.63 crore in 2021.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Director General of Police (DGP) Praveen Sood said, “Being able to recover 21 per cent of the money is still good. It is all in the virtual world and we do not know where this money is transacted. The entire cybercrime world depends on fake SIM cards and fake Know Your Customer (KYC) details.”
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Asked why Karnataka and Bengaluru are reporting more cybercrime cases in comparison to other states, he said, “The digital penetration is high in Karnataka. Moreover, we have several mechanisms to report cybercrime cases. There is also a dedicated helpline to report cybercrime cases and recoveries have happened because of immediate reporting.”
He also added that cybercriminals exploit the ignorance and greed of the public to carry out their crimes.
Technologist and independent researcher Rohini Lakshane said that the lockdown, physical distancing, restrictions on movement during the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on cybercrimes. “After demonetisation, the pandemic was another event that increased the dependence on digital wallets and digital means of making financial transactions, which, in turn, increased the number of cybercrimes. Although the lack of digital literacy and digital security is a concern, digital transactions increased during the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
Notably, Karnataka reported higher cybercrime cases in the country according to the data for 2020 provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) last September. Karnataka reported 16.2 per cent of the total cybercrime cases in the country followed by Telangana (13.4 per cent), Assam (10.1 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (4.8 per cent).
The NCRB data further stated that Bengaluru reported 47 per cent of cybercrime cases reported in 19 metropolitan cities in the country in 2020.
Total cybercrime cases
2019- 2022 (February end)
Total cases registered: 32,286
Total cases solved: 7,835
No of cases where accused are convicted: 70
No of total persons arrested: 1,243
Total persons convicted: 75
Total money lost in online cheating:Rs 221,17,00,291
Total money recovered: Rs 47,04,53,558
OTP frauds: Rs 68,69,88,284
Social Media Frauds: Rs 47,51,53,635
Phishing: Rs 104,95,58,372
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