3-fold rise in cyber fraud cases; educated individuals too falling prey

Team Udayavani, Mar 1, 2024, 11:13 AM IST

Mangaluru: The number of people falling prey to online scams, in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi district has increased by three-fold in recent times in the past 2 years.

Scammers are using new tactics to lure people by promising higher returns on investments, part-time jobs, and crypto trading through links and apps. Notably even educated people are losing their money to such scams.

Fraudsters who lure victims via links and apps initially pay a small amount as return. Investors, including retired persons, are enticed to invest their entire savings into the fraudulent schemes. Even though the app they use shows “high-income returns”, the money is not actually credited to their bank account. Frauds are also happening through AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment System). Retirees have also lost their savings by investing in the desire for higher returns.

Dr. Ananta Prabhu Gurupura, a cybersecurity expert, points out that people’s greed is the main reason why they end up as victims. Many such scams originate from apps found on the Android Play Store. Thus users must use due diligence while using apps.

Significant rise in number of cybercrime cases:

In Mangaluru Commissionerate, 68 cyber cases were registered in 2022, which shot up to 240 in 2023. In 2021, 107 cases were registered which included job fraud, financial fraud through Telegram app, part-time employment, fraud in loan apps, etc.

In Dakshina Kannada police limits 26, 16, and 36 cases of cyber fraud were reported in the years 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively.

In Udupi district alone, people have lost around Rs 4.44 crores in 129 cases in 2023. This year the figure has already touched Rs 4.42 crores. Udupi SP Dr. Arun Kumar said that public awareness needs to be created to combat cyber fraud.

“Many cyber fraud victims do not register their complaints. Police have solved a few of the cases. Victims can lodge complaints through the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, at the nearest police station, or by calling the 1930 helpline as soon as they realize they have been scammed. If we are not careful, the cases of fraud will significantly increase in the coming days,” said Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police C. B. Rishyant.

Translated from Kannada article by Santhosh Bollettu

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