Rs 547 crore lost to cybercrime!-Telangana Today image

In the last four months, cybercrime victims in Telangana lost around Rs 547 crore to fraudsters! The State Police, however, were successful in withholding Rs 66.92 crore in different bank accounts after being alerted by victims, and 38,372 cases were registered.

The highest amount of Rs 265 crore was lost to fraudsters, who lured the gullible victims with business and investment fraud, during the period between January and April 2024.

It was followed by trading fraud with Rs 110 crore and the remaining amount was lost in 24 other modus operandis.

About 11,567 cases registered across the State pertained to identity theft where the victims lost Rs 79 crore. Impersonation cases, where fraudsters impersonate popular entities and cheat people, are also on the rise with 3,980 cases registered.

The Telangana Cyber Security Bureau, which monitors the cybercrime cases investigation, said investment and trading fraud cases were on the rise in the State.

“Fraudsters are approaching public through social media and luring them into investing money in digital or online trading or other business. Without verifying the entity, people are transferring money into the mule accounts provided by fraudsters and becoming victims. Majority of victims are IT employees,” said a senior official of TSCSB.

In a few cases, the police were able to identify the main persons who were carrying out the cyber frauds but in the majority of the instances, those providing bank accounts were arrested.

Cyber fraudsters maintain a sophisticated network, quickly learn from the mistakes of others and take steps to avoid getting caught.

Director TGCSB, Shikha Goel, said the police are creating awareness about the 1930 helpline and because of it, there is a significant increase in the registration of complaints. “On receiving complaints, we put on hold the amount transferred to the bank accounts. Due to awareness by TGCSB, people are immediately reporting to 1930 about a fraud,” she explained.

The TGCSB prepared a Standard Operations Protocol (SOP) in accordance with guidelines issued by the State Legal Service Authority for refunding the amount put on hold by the TGCSB to the victims.

This year, Rs 4.81 crore was refunded to the victims with the efforts by TGCSB, of which Rs 3.66 crore was refunded during the National Lok Adalat held in March.

They assured the HoDs that their students would be offered back door job opportunities in multinational companies. Falling for the trick, the HoDs posted the phone number given in their college WhatsApp groups asking the students to contact the phone number for placements, he said.

When unemployed youths and students called the phone number, the accused asked them to pay Rs.35,000 initially and later another Rs 35,000 after receiving salary. Falling in their trap, two young women from Khammam paid them Rs.70,000 recently through UPI. They found the phone number switched off a day after they paid the money and lodged a complaint with police on March 27. A case under IPC Section 420 and Section 66(d) of IT Act was registered at the cybercrime police station and investigation was done.

The cybercrime police during their investigation found that about 50 persons in Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Hyderabad, Jagtial, Guntur and Rajahmundry districts along with Khammam were cheated by the accused, Dutt said.

The accused were arrested at the new bus stand in Khammam on April 18 and were produced before court.

Three mobile phones and Rs 1.10 lakh cash were seized from the accused, the CP said and appreciated ACP (Cybercrimes) Phanindra, CI Siva Kumar, SIs Ranjith and Vijay Kumar for cracking the cybercrime.

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