Telangana sees 57 percent increase in cybercrime rate, upward trend likely to continue

White-collar and property crimes, too, showed an upswing in 2022; general offences and phishing led the list of cybercrimes.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Dec 29, 2022 | 6:13 PMUpdatedDec 29, 2022 | 6:14 PM

Cybercrime in India: Cases rampant in Telangana

An agriculturist from Seetharamapuram village of Shabad Mandal in Rangareddy committed two mistakes that made him poorer by ₹92 lakh.

The amount was part of the ₹1.05 crore compensation he received for the land the Telangana government had acquired from his possession.

He paid an advance for 50 cents of land and deposited the remaining amount in his and his wife’s bank accounts.

The man then bought a smartphone for his youngest son, an undergraduate student studying at a Hyderabad college. It was the first mistake the father made though he intended to help the son attend online classes.

The student, addicted to online games, downloaded ‘King 527’ and started playing it. Meanwhile, the father committed the second mistake by transferring the amount saved for purchasing land to his son’s account.

The younger man had promised his father that he would hand over the money to the seller. However, it did not happen.

Instead, he fell victim to cyber frauds who made good with the money, which the agriculturalist’s son had been transferring to them in instalments since September. His parents approached the cybercrime police with a complaint in December.

Spurt in cybercrime

The Seetharamapuram villager was one among the growing number of cybercrime victims in Telangana. Director General of Police (DGP) M Mahendar Reddy told reporters on Thursday, 29 December, that the cybercrime rate in the state shot up by 57 percent in one year.

Hyderabad alone has seen an increase of over 25 percent in 2022.

While most cybercrimes were committed for gain, some others targeted devices to damage or disable them or to steal information.

Meanwhile, the rate of overall crime spiked by 4.44 percent in Telangana in 2022 — 1,42,917 registered cases — as compared to 1,36,841 registered cases in 2021.

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General and phishing top the list

The Telangana police have classified cybercrime into five: General offences, cyberstalking, phishing, online frauds and obscene content passed over websites and emails.

Child pornography, breach of intellectual property rights, identity theft and violation of privacy fall under the category of general offence.

The police said the highest number of cases were registered under general offences followed by phishing (fraudulent messages designed to trick a person into revealing sensitive information).

The number of cases under general offences swelled almost double — 9,815 cases in 2022 as compared to 5,833 in 2021 — phishing cases in 2022 were more than double that of the previous year — 1,663 cases in 2022, 716 in 2021.

The Telangana police also registered 1,158 cases of online fraud (1,158 cases), 1,118 cases of cyberstalking and 141 cases related to obscene content.

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Spike in cases likely  

According to the National Crime Record Bureau’s 2021 report on crimes registered in India, Telangana topped in cybercrime cases, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

The number doubled to 10,303 in 2021 from 5,024 in 2020 in Telangana.

“With more services going online, there is a corresponding increase in cybercrime. I feel it will continue,” Cyberabad DCP Kamleshwar Shingenavar told South First a week ago.

He urged people to maintain digital hygiene. “They need to continuously use and update security features in their devices,” he said.

Meanwhile, a total of 52,974 cybercrime cases were registered in 2021 India compared to 50,035 in 2020 with an increasing rate of 5.87 percent, as per NCRB report 2021.

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Increasing crime in Telangana

According to police records, Telangana witnessed an increased crime rate in 2022.