Tribune News Service

Amit Sharma

Chandigarh, June 8

Over the years, the number of cyber fraud incidents has witnessed a surge. However, what remains unchanged is the strength of the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) that has the burden of investigating almost 6,000 complaints received every year. So far, 2,738 complaints have already been received till June 8, while there are only 68 police personnel at the CCIC to investigate these complaints and catch the elusive cyber criminals.

As per police records, a total of 5,922 complaints were received in 2021 and 67 FIRs were registered. With limited manpower and resources available, dealing with the large number of complaints related to online frauds is a difficult task as there is no geographical boundary limits. Swindlers are operating from different states, including Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal. Tracing and reaching them is an uphill task.

Already 134 complaints of fraudulent transactions through UPI, asking for money after using pictures of senior government functionaries as DP on WhatsApp, have been received this year.

Police personnel posted at the CCIC said investigating a cyber complaint was a time-consuming process as the suspect had to be first traced and then a team visited the place where the fraudsters were suspected to be operating from. “We don’t get success every time. Sometimes, a team visit some remote place to nab a suspect. However, on reaching there, we find that his address is fake. In such a case, all efforts turn futile,” said a police official.

The official said usually it took eight to 10 days to carry out raids at far-flung places. “Considering the number of complaints, the cell is facing an acute staff crunch,” the official added.

The police said they usually relied on traditional techniques of catching a criminal. “Scrutinising call detail records (CDRs) and tracking the money trail to establish where the money was transferred are pivotal techniques to reach the swindlers,” said a police official.

Although the CCIC is reeling under staff crunch, setting up cyber desks at all police stations has lessened the burden. “Things are improving after setting up of these desks,” said the official.

Meanwhile, the UT Administration is in the process of establishing a cyber security centre in the city to deal with the ever-growing cases of cybercrime and meet future challenges.

FIR on misuse of Adviser’s pic

The UT police on Wednesday registered an FIR against unknown person for sending WhatsApp messages to people requesting them to purchase gift vouchers/cards using the profile picture of UT Adviser Dharam Pal. A case was registered at the Sector 3 police station.

Dos & Don’ts

  • Never share OTP received on mobile phone with anyone
  • Don’t reveal your debit/credit card information
  • Never download any unknown application on mobile phone
  • Never trust anyone who seeks money on social media posing as your acquaintance
  • Don’t click on unverified links

#cyber crime