NOIDA: Cybercrimes have seen a spike of over 600% in the past two years. As many as 2,500 cases of cyber fraud have been registered in the city till the end of August this year, out of which 90% cases are pending investigations, cyber police said.
In 2018, a total of 353 cases of cyber fraud were reported, according to data recorded by the cyber cell of Noida police. The 2019, it shot up by 380% to 1,697.

While police officers blame lockdown and the surge in internet usage due to the Covid-19 pandemic as the main reason for the spike in numbers, cyber police said many people get conned by fraudsters online despite being aware of the risks.
“We have been regularly asking people to stop falling prey to fraudulent callers who ask for your personal data and then use it to defraud you, but every now and then, we hear the same story,” said inspector Baljeet Singh, cyber cell.
Even though the government and Noida police are investing in training police and other officials on handling cybercrime cases, most of them are not being resolved successfully. “Our investigations do not lead to conviction or even arrests because these crimes take place on the web. For every one cyber criminal that gets caught, 100 others go free. In most of the cases, the accused people operate from a different district or sometimes country,” he said.
Singh added that another problem they face while investigating cyber fraud cases is the non-cooperation of banks and platforms where these frauds occur.
“By the time they share the data of the account to which the money was siphoned off, the suspects have already cashed it and become untraceable. Many times, we successfully collect solid legal evidence and even verify the identity and location of the criminal, but the arrests don’t happen because we lack the legal power to arrest the person, as they are out of our jurisdiction,” the inspector said.
“We have to request the police to pitch in and help us locate a criminal. The change we need is that we should be able to command them to take certain actions if needed and they should be made liable to follow, because ultimately, the case needs to be solved,” he said.
The Noida cyber cell is also battling a shortage of manpower — it has only about 13 personnel to deal with thousands of complaints of cybercrimes. Before the commissionerate was set up, it had only seven personnel.
“There is an urgent need to update resources and add more policemen so that cybercrime is given as much importance as other big crimes like murders and robbery,” an officer from the cell said.
This year, a total of 1,110 cases of cyber fraud were reported till August in which people were defrauded using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) method — a caller posing to be a bank employee usually asks for the one-time password (OTP) sent to the victim, along with his/her credit/debit card number. After getting the details, money from the victim’s bank account is transferred to another account via UPI.
Around 800 cases of frauds through social media have also been reported, in which the most common modus operandi is to create a fake social media profile of a person and later ask his/her family and friends for immediate fund transfers stating some kind of emergency, mostly medical.
Apart from this, as many as 115 FIRs have been filed after people were cheated on the pretext of jobs and loan offers. In other cases, fraudsters have befriended a person on social media and later, duped him/her by asking for money on various pretexts.

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