A soft crime that punches hard

Representational Pic

In these present times, when everyone is facing this pandemic (COVID19), people are working from home and trying to order necessary items and gadgets to be delivered at the door step, by using the modern technology like online shopping, classified advertisements of social media platforms like Facebook, olx, Quikr etc. But Someone sitting in a room, having a cup of coffee, is a sneaking fraudster and is idle to steal your money and make you suffer from various other means by cyber-crime.

With the widespread use of the internet, cyber-crime has become a real threat to society. Information Technology Act, 2000 was introduced to recognize, mitigate and prevent these threats. In simple terms, cybercrimes in India are the wrongful acts or crimes done with the use of technology. There is no specific definition of cyber-crime, but when any illegal or criminal activity happens using a computer as the primary means of operation, it’s a white-collar crime.

From past couple of months the government is getting hundreds of complaints regarding cybercrimes and stealing of online money by means of fraud online advertisements in which the seller is selling the products on lowest rates to grab the customers and grab the money. Customers getting attracted to the mentioned price tags pay online for the products but they only lose their hard earned money. In many cases the sellers provide the information in such a way that the buyers (customer) completely trust them, and plunges into transaction. Going back to many complaints registered, the sellers sometimes ask for advance payments, bank transfers or provides QR codes to do the same.

Facebook, Olx and Quikr are the main weapons used by the fraudsters in present times, and one should be aware about it before going to shop online.

Apart from the various online shopping frauds, many other means of cyber-crimes are being opted by cyber criminals online, like scam technical support, phishing, credit card frauds, bank robbery, illegal downloading, industrial espionage, child pornography, online harassment, kidnapping children via chat rooms, scams, cyber terrorism, creation and/or distribution of viruses, spam, and so on. Various cybercrime departments of all over India have already started the campaign of awareness about the same, and lot of cases were solved by cyber police, for which people are always thankful to them.

Like the COVID19 we are learning to live with this cybercrime by taking precautionary measures – in online business or shopping or any other task which we are performing online we need to take precautionary measures and follow guidelines issued by government, and the concerned authorities.

Some of the things to check; only shop from the authentic web sites and make sure you have gone through the authenticity of the website, and even you can call on cyber helplines for verifications. You should be one step forward than the fraudster and clever enough to tackle this situation. Never disclose your ATM card number, CVV, ATM PIN, and go through advance payment mode on classified websites. Always seek for complete physical address of the company registered and check online about the company existence.

The crime investigation team has been establishing many cybercrime cells in different cities of India, taking care of the reports and investigations of the cyber-crimes. At present, most cities in India have a dedicated cybercrime cell. You can make a complaint anytime to the cyber police or crime investigation department either offline or online. In order to give ensure punishment cybercriminals, if you found yourself a victim of this, or find any suspicious activity online, you can report to the national cybercrime portal on cybercrime.gov.in.

Save yourself from being a victim. Many cybercrime incidents have started happening in J&K also in past few months. Earlier, these crimes had a lower occurrence in J&K  compared to other parts of India. Consequently, the cyber department of J&K has started fast track process to nab the culprits.

Khalid Mustafa, is IT & Management expert.