March 07, 2022
Cybercriminals cheated several people of about Rs 2 crore in the state last year when the police registered 2,037 such cases. It was a marginal increase (5.5%) from 2020 when 1931 cybercrimes were recorded.
According to the reports, unidentified cybercrooks took away money from the victims by offering them high returns through different schemes, on purchases of pharmaceutical products, during online trading, installation of mobile towers and while sending gift parcels from abroad. In some cases, people lost money from their accounts after clicking on malicious links sent by the scammers to their phones and emails.
Last December, an IT professional from the Koraput district lost Rs 42.67 lakh to cyber criminals, who offered him high returns in a short period in online share trading. In another case, a man from Koraput district lost Rs 75.58 lakh to cyber crooks, who had promised him an insurance bonus of around Rs 1.5 crore in December last year.
Further, the government was left red-faced when cyber criminals defrauded nearly Rs 7 lakh from five persons after hacking the WhatsApp number of Manoj Pattnaik, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Odisha computer application centre in November last year. The hackers took control of Pattnaik’s WhatsApp number and sent messages to his close contacts claiming that he required urgent financial help for treatment.
Not only is the rise in cybercrimes a cause of concern in this increasingly digital age, but also slow investigation and poor conviction, which have raised questions on the efficacy of cops in solving such cases. Going to the National Crime Records Bureau, not a single case has resulted in a conviction in the state between 2018 and 2020.
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