Cybersecurity laws must be strictly enforced
The digitization of financial services has brought with it ease of doing business and many personal conveniences, but the inherent limitations of technological change are sometimes exploited by unscrupulous elements to commit serious fraud. In recent days, several gullible people have suffered great losses due to such crimes and their number is constantly increasing. The problem is compounded because safeguards to prevent cybercrimes, which involve not disclosing one’s own credit/debit card information or sharing the OTP/security password with anyone, are not adhered to in letter and spirit by some users. As a result, cyber frauds are perpetrated easily and their detection becomes extremely difficult due to fake IDs, uses of stolen devices or nasty details left behind by fraudsters. As such, cybercrimes have also become a common occurrence due to our greater reliance on the internet in day-to-day activities. According to media reports and complaints filed on designated websites/toll free number 1930 for cyber fraud cases, the modus operandi of cheating mainly involves hacking accounts, stealing private data, phishing passwords individual security, sharing OTPs, PWs or by tempering/creating fake IDs. In addition to this, other basic reasons for falling prey to such frauds are monetary incentives, emotional blackmail of innocent people, etc. by perpetrators. Similarly, fraudsters also take advantage of illiteracy, lack of awareness of security features among many people. Cheaters exploit gullible people especially the elderly and illiterate under the guise of helping them in ATM operations, online transactions and many more. However, the irony is that in most cases the fraudsters are unscathed since the cyber cells investigating these crimes are either ill-equipped or insufficiently deployed with a trained and efficient workforce to track them down. Obviously the requirement is to have a National Cybercrime Directorate modeled after the ED with offices located in every state/UT for surveillance and to coordinate with local law enforcement to dig up cyber crimes . At the same time, state cyberpolice IT cells should proactively educate the public on the do’s and don’ts of using online technology. Cybersecurity laws need to be strengthened and strictly enforced for tough action against criminals caught in such activities.
Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath
Create a specialized cadre of civil servants
With the widespread use of the internet and the accelerated digitization of financial transactions and services in almost every sphere, the incidence of cyber crimes has increased alarmingly in the country. According to the NCRB, 136 cybercrime cases were reported every day in 2020 and are increasing rapidly over time. The financial loss from banking activities only increased to Rs 63.40 crore in FY20-21. Emerging cyber crime trends include hacking, identity theft, spam, phishing and cyberstalking, resulting in over 60% financial loss for victims. Section 78 of the Computer Law empowers the police to investigate cyber crimes and according to Section 154 of the CrPC, it is mandatory for the local police to register the FIR cyber crime against the accused. However, the success of these legislative provisions largely depends on the level of awareness of the likely victims and the degree of preparation of the police to deal with these crimes quickly and effectively. The police should launch a massive awareness campaign through all media to educate the public against all types of cyber crimes and various methods of prevention and protection. Toll-free phone number services with email support and dedicated website should be kept operational at all times to provide on-the-spot advice to victims. The provision of an online FIR record should be institutionalized by a specialized cybercrime unit for prompt and efficient investigation within the framework of well-documented SOPs. The state government should seriously consider creating a specialized police force comprised of computer technology experts to deal with cybercrimes.
Awareness among people only solution
Innocent people fall prey to cyber crime due to their ignorance, innocence, limited education, etc. It becomes difficult for the banks and the cops to find the money. Awareness of the innocent is the only safety measure for the innocent to protect themselves from cybercrime. At the same time, they must reject all the calls that try to implicate the innocent people to ask for their balances, OTP, code, etc. Even though innocent people know about bank fraud, they give lucrative offers which are promised to them by malefactors. The police department has already released its internet cybercrime complaint number, but even then most people are hesitant to contact law enforcement to file a complaint. It is up to the masses to protect their interests by only disclosing your details to bank officials.
RAJAT KUMAR MOHINDRU
Don’t fall prey to lucrative offers
Cyber crime is on the rise as intellectual masterminds abuse their ability to the negative side by hacking into bank accounts, passwords and personal details. They commit heinous crimes such as ransomware, prostitution and child pornography, which can destroy many lives. People have started to depend on online services, which has led to more data being put at risk, so the number of hackers has risen sharply and the wave of cyber crimes has increased. To be on the safe side, keep an eye on bank details and report any fraudulent transactions to the manager. To combat these scams, all agencies need to be able to trace hackers to their source. It’s a challenge for the police department to keep a check on them; they need a strong mechanism to fight cyber crimes effectively and efficiently. Certain toll-free numbers and social media channels can be helpful in creating awareness, alerts; notices should be posted from time to time. We have to be very careful while opening any unknown files on the phone, spam emails and untrustworthy websites. Use a strong password and use anti-virus software. They try to seduce in many ways, but be careful.
Raising public awareness of cybercrime
The police and the government are raising awareness about cybercrime scams. Now it is the responsibility of citizens to ensure that they do not fall for such fraudsters. Cyber crime cheaters lure gullible people to get rich by investing on certain mobile numbers and as soon as they appease the fraudsters, they hack their account number with their bank and get the money back from their account number. What about ordinary people, even former CM Punjab MP wife was cheated by such thugs. Although the money was later recovered, it was a wake-up call for ordinary citizens. Unfortunately, the greed of the human being is unstoppable and it pushes them into the doldrums. There was a news in the newspapers that these scammers are highly qualified with good degrees like MBA and are IT assistants and operate from Jharkhand and other places. The police and the government should educate the public about these cybercrimes. Already, Jalandhar Police has released their Cybercrime Help Number 1930 and it would definitely help to raise awareness about cybercrimes to protect people from fraud.
Dr JS Wadhwa
We need honest and efficient IT people
It is rightly concluded that with advancements in information technology, the incident of cyber crimes has increased several times. It must also be admitted that the culprits are more expert in information technology than our crime detection agencies. Therefore, we should have much more efficient, honest and leading cyber crime branch IT specialists in every district of the country. In the world of cybercrime, online efficiency and perfect computer knowledge are prerequisites. Just to cite an example, the culprit calls the victim on mobile and simply informs them that to continue mobile services, KYC renewal is required, so recharge your mobile with only Rs 10. As the victim does , culprit with the help of the software to its end obtain the password of the transaction and withdraw the money from the victim’s account. Hundreds of such cases have been reported, but no exemplary punishment has been meted out to the culprit when caught to have a deterrent effect on the future.
There has been a sudden increase in cases of murders, robberies, carjackings and petty street crimes in the recent past, leaving residents, especially women and the elderly, in shock. What needs to be done to check the rising crime graph and make residents feel safe?
Suggestions in no more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected] by Thursday (May 19)