Free Press Journal

Mumbai: Workshop to arm 2,000 policemen with cyber fraud detection skills


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Mumbai: Mumbai Police plans to conduct cybercrime workshops for 2,000 police personnel to arm them with the expertise to handle cybercrime cases. The programme will be conducted in the last week of July in association with advocate Pankaj Bafna.  According to advocate Bafna,”It is a four-day training programme to be conducted in July end for the central, western, northern, eastern and southern regions. The dates have not been finalised as yet. The training sessions will be mostly held at the offices of the regional headquarters of the police. Since there has been a major reshuffle in the postings of the policemen, new batches of around 600 to 700 policemen each will be trained to tackle the menace of cybercrime. I have also been invited to Amravati to conduct a training programme for Maharashtra Police.”

From December 2017 until May 2018, 4,500 policemen have been trained by Bafna for the south, central, western, eastern and northern police regions. In May, 1,600 police personnel were trained, including those from Mira-Bhayandar. The intensive workshops were conducted at several venues across the city from 9.30am to 8.30pm in several phases. The training was conducted at Mumbai Police Gymkhana (south region), Kalachowkie zonal Deputy Commissioner of Police office(central region), Thakur College (northern region), Govandi zonal DCP office(eastern region), Bandra-Kurla Complex police station (western region) and Bhayandar police station for Mira-Bhayandar. Constables, police inspectors and senior police inspectors from every police station have signed up for the programme.

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“There is a new cyber fraud where the hackers create another SIM card on the same mobile number which the victim has been using. The culprits switch off the victim’s SIM card through a special software for around two hours. Meanwhile, they steal the phone contacts, SMSs, bank account details and personal details of the victim. While the victim’s SIM card is defunct for two hours, they generate a One-Time Password (OTP), which is sent to the hacker’s number. They fraudulently withdraw money from the victim’s bank account and after the fraud is committed, they restart the SIM services. So the victim does not know that cash has been withdrawn from their bank accounts as they have not received any SMS from the bank. I will be training the force on tackling such new cyber frauds which are rapidly increasing in Mumbai but the police have little knowledge about it, ” added Bafna.

Earlier, Bafna had enlightened police about credit card fraud, the provisions under the law and the compensation of victims as per the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India. Police were also trained on how credit card fraud cases and email hacking cases should be registered and how banks are also involved in such cases. “In case of frauds related to banks, it is the duty of the complainant to obtain a certificate from the bank under Section 65b of the Indian Evidence Act. However, the police were not aware of this and would themselves issue the certificate to the victims, which is not valid in a court of law. The Reserve Bank of India has issued guidelines that in case of any fraudulent transactions of money from bank accounts, the victim should report the matter and they will be compensated for it. However, the police were not aware about it, ” Bafna said.

“It is the responsibility of the bank to keep upgrading the software every week to prevent skimming of ATMs. However, banks don’t do this. Instead, they carry out upgrades every three-four months, thereby leading to an increase in ATM skimming cases. In such instances, the police have the right to take custody of the banker. However, they are not aware about the law. Therefore, victims, including Mumbai police, who have lost money in ATM skimming incidents, have been first asked to file a First Information Report by bankers to claim their money, which leads to harassment by the banks,” said Bafna.

According to Deepak Devraj, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Mumbai Police spokesperson confirmed, “The training sessions will begin in July end. Constabulary who have not undergone training earlier will be benefitted now.”