FOR THE first time in three years, Mumbai beat Bangalore as the city with the maximum number of cyber crimes registered, as per the 2016 data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). While Bangalore topped the country in cyber crimes in 2014 and 2015 with Mumbai in a close second spot, the total number of cyber crime cases registered in Mumbai was 980 in 2016, against the 762 cases registered in Bangalore.
The data that took into consideration 19 metropolitan cities across the country with a population of more than 20 lakh, the data further revealed that majority of the cyber crime cases in Mumbai were related to personal gains and harassing women online.
NCRB data also pointed out that the rising trend, pertaining to cases of cyber crime in the city, almost stabilised in 2016. While the total FIRs were 608 in 2014, it rose to 979 in 2015 and 980 in 2016.
A police officer said, “There is a greater awareness when it comes to cases of cyber crime. If anyone posts something on social networking sites that is offensive, people now come forward to register complaints, which did not happen in the past.”
According to the police, several people use the internet, especially social networking sites, to carry out fraudulent activities under various pretexts such as promising to marry or assuring an award. Of the total 980 cyber crimes registered in the city, 649 were done for ‘illegal gains’, 207 were done with the intention of outraging the modesty of women, 39 of them were cases of sexual exploitation while 12 FIRs were regarding extortion and blackmail.
A famous modus operandi is to offer the target a profitable business, as happened in the case of a person who was assured a supply of ‘cancer curing seeds’ in exchange for money. Over a period of time, the accused keep collecting money under various guises till the victim realises he/she has been duped.
“In spite of so many awareness campaigns, people still fall prey to such crimes. We have arrested several Nigerian nationals in such crimes,” said an officer. In several cases, according to the police, people believe they can remain anonymous online and hence use the platform to get back at someone by putting up obscene profiles in their names. These accused are however eventually tracked down with the help of their Internet Protocol address and placed under arrest. The Mumbai Crime Branch recently arrested a man from Gujarat who abused a woman on a social media platform using a fake account.
As per the statistics, at the end of 2016, as many as 1,908 cases were pending investigation before the Mumbai Police while 322 cases had been disposed of during the previous year. An officer from the BKC cyber police station said, “The pendency over the past few years had accumulated and we are trying our best to dispose of as many cases as we can on priority.” firstname.lastname@example.org