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Cybercrime jumps by 31% in Odisha in 2020

Cybercrime cases increased by an alarming 31% in Odisha in 2020 as compared to 2019. Statistics of Odisha police said altogether 1931 cybercrime cases were registered last year as against 1475 cases in 2019.

Police said most of the cybercrime cases were reported during the Covid-induced lockdown when people relied more on online payment and UPI transactions. A few offences were reported following circulation of false video/audio clips related to Covid outbreak on social media.

“We found most cases, relating to fraud after transactions through net banking, debit/credit cards and UPI payments. Lockdown had prompted people to stay indoors and increased their dependency on online banking. Restrictions on movement of people, apprehension of virus infection through cash and availability of commodities through online platforms made people vulnerable to cyber frauds,” a senior police officer said.

Police sources said almost the victims found fraudulent withdrawal of money from their accounts after they clicked phishing and suspicious mails or links on cashback offers. In some cases the victims, who were not conversant with online transactions, shared their passwords after being tricked by the cyber crooks.

The state police headquarters recently asked the police personnel to incorporate the concept of ‘golden hour’ while probing cyber crimes. Cops were asked to effectively utilise the crucial golden hour – the gap between occurrence of the crime and response after registration of the case.

“The speed with which information, facts, allegations and rumours travel is very fast. Our response must match this speed. We should improve the expertise to solve the cyber crimes, which are very complex in nature,” director general of police Abhay recently addressed the police personnel at an event.

The police headquarters will soon arrange online courses that are being offered by the national crime records bureau (NCRB) for the state cops. Sources said the NCRB launched at least 18 online courses in six fields for three stages—beginner, intermediate and advanced. The officers would learn lessons on cyber investigation, intelligence, first responder, cyber forensic, management and prosecution.

Odisha police recently roped in the national police academy (NPA) in Hyderabad to hone the skills of the officers on cyber investigation. Officers from NPA’s national digital crime resource and training centre (NDCRTC) have been visiting Bhubaneswar to organise the cyber training sessions in different phases for the state cops.

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