Police ask victims to lodge complaints within two hours after the fraud
Bengaluru/Mysuru: Mysuru stands second in cyber frauds committed across Karnataka in 2022 and criminals wiped off Rs. 14.07 crore from the bank accounts of victims within seconds after fraudulent access. Bengaluru topped the State with people losing Rs. 266 crore to cybercrimes.
The data was provided in the Legislative Council yesterday by Home Minister Araga Jnanendra in a written reply to the question raised by MLC M. Nagaraju. The reply stated in one year (2022), people of Karnataka lost Rs. 363 crore to cyber frauds and on average, Rs. 1 crore was polished off from bank accounts in one day.
There is a remarkable increase in the cybercrime data in 2022 as in 2021, people of the State lost Rs. 71.27 crore to online frauds and the amount has spiked to Rs. 363 crore in 2022. According to the Police, the modus operandi of the cyber criminals is simple as they bank on fear, greed and sex to methodically steal personal and proprietary financial information to commit frauds.
Social engineering scams through junk e-mail, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram messages form the bulk of frauds. “Increased awareness on OTP-based frauds has made people intelligent and now they rarely share OTPs (One-Time-Password). But criminals are using ingenious methods to extract money through offers, rewards, sale on online platforms and even sale of used furniture and vehicles,” said a Police Officer.
People must not share their OTPs and bank account details to anyone and despite many awareness programmes and also reports in newspapers, electronic media and social media, people, mostly well-educated and entrepreneurs, still fall prey to fraudsters, he added.
The Home Minister’s reply in the Council also mentioned that in 2022, the Cyber Cell units across the State and various CEN (Cyber Crime, Economic Offences and Narcotics) Police Stations were able to recover Rs. 46.87 crore lost to cybercrime but the amount of recovery is negligible when compared to the amount lost to the fraud.
File complaints without delay: Police
Police said that like there is a golden hour in the healthcare industry where patients can be saved if brought to a hospital within one hour or so, there is a golden hour in cybercrime also where lodging complaints immediately (within two hours) after the fraud, is crucial.
“Ideally, the victim must immediately report the fraud to the nearest Police Station without delay. Investigating cybercrimes is a complex process as fraudsters often operate from overseas and from remote locations in the country. The money deposited by victims in various bank accounts given by fraudsters have branches outside Karnataka and it becomes difficult to trace the accounts and freeze them if the complaints are delayed,” a Police Officer said.
If a complaint is immediate, tracing of fraud accounts after communicating with the banks and freezing of the same becomes easy. If the money has been physically withdrawn by the fraudsters, it is again a cumbersome process, Police added.
Complaints can be made to the nearest Police Station, CEN Police Station or dial 112. The victims can also complain to Helpline 1930.