Mumbai: In lockdown, crime moves from the street, to cyberspace

Mumbai: City cyberpolice have drawn up a list of hackers and historysheeters, which they are heavily scrutinising amid the lockdown, as there has been a significant rise in the number of cybercrimes in this period.Phishing is trending among cybercrimes -- fraudsters call people posing as bank officials and elicit their bank details and One-Time Passwords (OTPs) to 'help' defer their EMI payments, said Vishal Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber). Having received several such complaints in the last 10 days, police decided to list all the historysheeters and keep tabs on them.

Victims are also being targeted by making them download unsafe applications which give the fraudsters remote access to devices like mobile phones and laptops and enable them to steal bank information, an officer said. So far, police have identified over 150 accused, who are being scrutinised closely. The most common fake link used by the fraudsters is the 'Pradhanmantri Berojgar Bhatta Yojna 2020 (Prime Minister Unemployment Stipend Scheme, 2020), that offers Rs. 3,500 to homemakers. Yet another link claims to offer free subscription if the link is forwarded to 20 persons or 4 messenger groups, a ploy to get personal information, an officer said.

Maharashtra Cyberpolice have also noted an increase in fake news, hate and communal content related to coronavirus on social media in the last few days, registering 132 offences till Wednesday in this regard.In a video appeal, Harish Baijal, DIG (Cyber), Maharashtra, said,WhatsApp groups settings should be changed in groups to only allow administrators to share posts. "In view of the coronavirus situation, I appeal to everyone who has created a WhatsApp group, to change settings so that only admins can post on the groups," Baijal said.

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