As many as 50,035 cases of cyber crime were reported in 2020, an increase of nearly 12 percent over the previous year, the Crime In India 2020 report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has revealed.
The NCRB also provides details of the intent behind the cyber crime committed and registered. Fraud emerged as the key ‘motive’ or intent in 30,142 or 60 percent of the total number of cyber crimes recorded in 2020.
Sexual exploitation was next with 3,293 or about 7 percent of the cases, followed by extortion (2,440 cases), causing disrepute (1,706 cases) and personal revenge (1,470 cases). These five motives accounted for 78 percent of the total cyber crime cases reported in 2020.
Karnataka recorded the most (9,680) cyber crime cases with fraud as the motive, followed by Uttar Pradesh (4,674) and Telangana (4436); these three States account for 62 percent of cases reported with fraud as the motive.
Sexual exploitation as the intent behind cyber crime was reported the most in Maharashtra, with 612 cases in 2020, followed by Uttar Pradesh (560) and Assam (483). Extortion as the motive was reported the most in Uttar Pradesh (1,055), followed by Assam (447) and Odisha (175).
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The NCRB report, in a word of caution, states: “Rise in crime and increase in registration of crime by police are clearly two different things, a fact which is often confused. Thus an oft-repeated expectation from certain quarters that an effective police administration will be able to keep the crime figures low is misplaced. Increase in crime numbers in State police data may in fact be on account of certain citizen centric police initiatives, like launching of e-FIR facility or women Helpdesks, etc.”
Cases of cyber crime have been reported in the media recently. The Delhi Police received 3,112 complaints of cyber financial frauds on its helpline between April and August, Hindustan Times reported on September 19. Nearly Rs 14 crore was siphoned off from the accounts of the victims, whose complaints were found to be genuine after verification, and about 10 percent of the defrauded amount was returned, the report stated.
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In Bengaluru, officials investigating a cybercrime case in which three persons were arrested for allegedly being involved in sextortion and other cyber fraud, cracked nearly 4,000 similar cases across the country, The Indian Express reported on Saturday.
Likewise, a youth from Narsipatnam mandal in Visakhapatnam district was arrested by the cyber crime police team of Kolkata on September 18. The youth had allegedly fraudulently collected Aadhaar numbers of several people through which he had applied for loans in micro-banks (online mobile banking applications), The Hindu reported
on September 19.