A Hyderabad resident lost ₹1.6 lakh to an investment app called Loxam in June this year.
He lodged a complaint with the police, and the Hyderabad city police unearthed a huge Chinese online investment scam to the tune of ₹903 crore.
The police arrested 10 people, including Chinese and Taiwanese nationals.
Earlier in January, criminals hacked the AP Mahesh Cooperative Urban Bank’s server and transferred over ₹12.9 crore from its chest account to several accounts.
The police later arrested several people, including a Nigerian national.
According to police records, cybercrimes topped the complaints received in 2022 in Hyderabad.
“There is a rising trend in cybercrimes,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police AR Srinivas told South First.
“We are spending around ₹3 to 4 lakhs daily to meet the expenses of our police teams travelling across India to solve cybercrime cases and on logistics, including the latest technology,” he added.
While most cybercrimes were committed for gain, some others targeted devices to damage or disable them or to steal information.
The police registered the cases under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Spurt in cybercrime cases
Hyderabad witnessed a 25.65 percent spurt in cybercrime this year compared to 2021.
In 2021, 7,280 cases of cybercrimes were registered, which went up to 9,148 in 2022.
“With more services going online, there is a corresponding increase in cybercrime. I feel it will continue,” Cyberabad DCP Kamleshwar Shingenavar told South First.
The highest number of cases — 4,850— were registered by the Cyberabad police, followed by 2,249 cases by the Hyderabad city police, and 2,049 in Rachakonda.
These cases were registered in Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda commissionerate limits.
Of the total 75,200 criminal cases registered in Hyderabad, one out of eight cases pertained to cybercrime (8.22 percent).
The cases were related to hacking, ATM card fraud, data theft, online fraud, loan/insurance cheating, blackmailing, communal posts, lottery fraud, stalking and job fraud.
Read more: Cybercrime takes new form in Bengaluru: ‘Mumbai Police will clear your name in money-laundering case’
Trend likely to increase
According to the National Crime Record Bureau’s 2021 report, Telangana topped in cybercrime cases in India, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.
The number doubled to 10,303 in 2021 from 5,024 in 2020 in Telangana.
The state capital, Hyderabad, ranked second in India — with 3,303 registered cybercrime cases — among cities. Bengaluru led the list.
The number of cases registered in Hyderabad jumped to 3,303in 2021 from 2,553 recorded in 2020.
“Criminals send phishing links to dupe people and people fall for them. Hence the number of victims of cybercrime is increasing. We register between 20-25 FIRs in our Commissionerate in a day,” Hyderabad city police commissioner CV Anand told South First.
“We will focus more on this in future as it is likely to make more people suffer in the coming days. We have formed special units and trained policemen in every police station to combat cybercrime,” he added.
Maintain digital hygiene
Anand requested people not to visit unknown websites or click suspicious links as they might compromise the data to criminals through which they can blackmail.
Meanwhile, Shingenavar urged people to maintain digital hygiene. "They need to continuously use and update security features in their devices," he said.
— Ajay (@ajaytomarasks) December 21, 2022