Cyber Crime in India is Real and Scary

Raisuddin Ahmad represents 60% of common Indians. He became a victim of cyber crime recently. Listen to the Audio carefully. The first investigative coverage of The Policy Times on cyber crimes in India poses a big threat to common Indians who know little about information sensitivity and exposes Prime Minister Modi's Digital India!

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Raisuddin Ahmad, a resident of New Delhi, India’s political capital is a common uneducated Indian. He is a supporter of Shri Narendra Modi’s Digital India. By the mandate of the ruling Government, he has a bank account and ATM card of Oriental Bank of Commerce and linked his Aadhar Card with his bank account.

In the evening at 5:10 pm on the 4th of September 2017, he received a call from +91 8407852507 (which is registered in the name of Aniket Sharma from Bihar, according True-caller). The caller on the other line claimed that he was calling from Mumbai, ATM Card Department. The caller warned the victim that 4th of September was the expiration date of his ATM card which was the same day of the conversation. Howver, exprisation date of his card is 4 September 2023. The caller asked to share all details of the card so that the officer could renew his card. He added that if it was not told today, his card will expire permanently and to renew it again, he will have to pay INR 2850. Since this is big amount for a daily wager, he got afraid of paying that hefty amount and he shared all the information.

Listen to the complete conversation

He had INR 7,000 in his bank account which his son recently transferred after getting his salary. After the call all his money from the bank account was transferred. He filed a police complain in a police station in New Delhi and even requested his Bank branch to help but received no help. He does not know how to complain to the cyber cell of Delhi Police and hence he is repenting what happened and trying his best to forget the crime that just took place.

This reflects the horrific and scary picture of India’s Digital India. Cybercrime is not a future threat; it is a reality which is very threatening. Indian police forces are ill-equipped to handle such cyber-crimes. Even Banks are not prepared to handle such crimes and neither have they properly educated citizens about the consequences of such events happening.

The way cyber theft and cybercrime has pervaded the online landscape of India, it has left the common people very insecure about their assets. As per the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), between January to June this year, 27,482 cases of cybercrime were reported. The scope of cybercrimes in India include ransom ware, malicious code or virus, defacements, site intrusions, probing or scanning, phishing and denial-of-service attacks.

It often happens that calls from supposedly banks come to less educate or illiterate people asking for their banking details which is then utilized to siphon away the money parked in their accounts. The Policy Times exposes the fraudulent phone call that siphoned away all the money of the victim who in this case is Raisuddin Ahmad. You will notice the jugular words and cajoling of the perpetrator.

The rate of cybercrime in India is astonishingly one in every 10 minutes, from the beginning of 2017 to the end of June 2017. This rate is higher than the crime rate reported in 2016, which is one in every 12 minutes.

Over the past three-and-a-half years, cybercrime in India amounted to 1.71 lakh cases. This year, so far the number of cybercrime cases has touched 127,482 making it likely that extra 50,000 cases will be amounted compared to 2016.

Mirza Faizan Asad, a cybercrime expert said, “It is not just enough to make efforts at the government level, which is, in some sense happening, but cybercrime affects hundreds of individual systems and firms, all of whom need to be ready with specialised teams.”

Under such circumstances, the Narendra Modi’s dream of a digital India is a very risky proposition. With ineffective IT infrastructure, poor monitoring and controlling facilities, inadequate security from the law enforcement agencies; the common people are increasingly vulnerable to fall prey to cybercrime and cyber theft. For example, online banking such as net banking makes a common man vulnerable of losing his life savings. With this kind loose checks and balances in places, how can the government aggressively pursue the Digital India bandwagon?

The ransom ware attacks are particularly in vogue now, being added to previously existing defacement and phishing crimes. Between 2013 and 2016, data analyses show that network probing and scanning – considered as the first step in detecting systems vulnerabilities so as to steal the sensitive data – comprised of 6.7% of all cases whilst malware and virus accounted for 17.2%.

With ineffective IT infrastructure, poor monitoring and controlling facilities, inadequate security from the law enforcement agencies, the common people are increasingly vulnerable to fall prey to the notorious and dangerous world of cyber-crime and cyber theft.