From lottery frauds to fake job offers, online scams plague tech city

Bengaluru is considered India’s IT capital, which would make one believe that this tech city is guarded against cyber crimes. But the reality is quite the opposite. Bhaskar Rao, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City, says that the city’s cyber crime rates are among the highest in the country — from a total of 2,023 cases reported in 2017, the number currently stands at 9,602. ‘Many cases go unreported’ City folk have fallen victim to a variety of crimes online. Among these, the majority are of those who have shared their confidential information on the internet. “Fraudsters build confidence among the citizens, so that they trust their schemes and can be easily duped,” he says. “It is ultimately a ploy of robbing them of their money,” explains police commissioner Bhaskar Rao, adding, “Certain cases do not even get reported, as some people may feel too ashamed to reveal that they have been a victim of a scam.” Apart from these kubet cases, there are also offences on the dark net. “If every month, for about a year or two, Rs. 1 is deducted from your account, you won’t think it to be a big deal. But if this is being done for thousands of accounts, one can imagine the scale of money being stolen. And this might also be the work of an offender from another country. So, finding out that a crime has been committed itself is challenging at times,” he explains.

‘Measures should be taken by financial institutions too’ While citizens need to be alert, banking and financial institutions also need to beef up their security and create awareness among citizens, Bhaskar emphasises. “Financial institutions have to constantly re-educate citizens about the vices and suggest them not to give out confidential information. These institutions also need to make payment channels more secure. Introducing double-check systems, when one makes a payment, could be an option. For instance, when someone is making a cashless payment, a reconfirmation message, before finalising the payment, could ensure that the transaction is conducted with due permission,” he explains, adding that ATM machines, too, need to be sanitised to make sure that they are not misused by fraudsters.

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