Mumbai: Cyber crime cases dip amid lockdown

As the city is shuffling between full lockdown and partial lockdown, physical shopping has been restricted to essential items only, leaving people with the option of shopping online. Due to the increase on the reliance of online transactions, cyber experts had warned citizens of an increase in cyber crimes. However, recently released data from the Mumbai Police show contradictory results. In the last three months, the city witnessed a 16 percent decrease in cases of cyber crime as compared to that registered in the corresponding period last year.

As per the statistics, last year till March, the city reported 760 cyber crime cases while this year the number of cases registered till March were 639. The decline could be seen in almost all cyber crime types except obscene emails and SMSes.

In the first three months of 2020, the city police had registered 157 cases of credit card frauds while this year till March, the number has came down to 134. The cases of phishing or hacking have come down to four this year as compared to 15 cases till March last year. Cases of fake social media profiles or morphing also came down from last year’s figure of 13 to 9 this year. This year till March, the city reported no cases of spoofing or man in middle attack while last year there were three such cases registered in the first three months.

However the city witnessed increase in the cases of obscene emails or SMSs this year, last year 59 such offence had been registered in the city which rose to 67 this year. This year city police registered three cases of tampering of source code in the first quarter of the year while last year till March there count was nil.

"I don't agree with these figures and it's quite likely that fewer people are reporting cases to the police, cases of morphing and phishing in fact have risen exponentially. The authorities only considers FIR as data, one must ask the number of complaints received on national cybercrime reporting portal and even complaints received in writing," said Ritesh Bhatia, cyber crime expert.

"Credit/debit frauds have decreased because people are now more aware and moreover RBI has asked banks to disable international transactions by default," Bhatia added.

The detection rate of cyber crime cases has been a worry as majority of cases remains undetected. The detection rate till March this year is as low as 8-9 % while, the detection rate of year 2020 was 8.5 % while for year 2019 it was 12.76 %.

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