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Drastic rise in cybercrime complaints in Meghalaya

12:04 PM Jun 22, 2024 IST | NE NOW NEWS
UpdateAt: 12:06 PM Jun 22, 2024 IST
drastic rise in cybercrime complaints in meghalaya
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SHILLONG: The number of documented cybercrime complaints in Meghalaya has surged significantly in recent years.

This rise has compelled the Meghalaya police to issue an advisory urging citizens to remain vigilant and cautious.

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As of June 04 this year, the police have received 2564 cybercrime complaints in different parts of Meghalaya.

Financial fraud cases account for nearly 70% of the total cybercrime complaints reported in Meghalaya.

Special SP (CID) of Meghalaya police, Vivek Syiem, highlighted the increase in cybercrimes cases.

“Citizens should be aware that cybercrimes have skyrocketed. It's crucial to adopt best practices and stay safe online to protect privacy, information, and finances,” Syiem said.

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The escalation in complaints is stark: from just 9 complaints in 2019, the numbers rose to 118 in 2020, 224 in 2021, 735 in 2022, and 892 in 2023. This year alone, 586 complaints have been lodged by June 4.

Among the prevalent scams, “parcel scam”, where victims receive calls from individuals posing as representatives of delivery companies like FedEx or DHL.

The callers claim that the victim's parcel has been flagged for containing contraband and other illegal items.

The call is then transferred to a bogus policeman who coerces the victim into making online cash transfers to avoid legal action and bank account freezing.

To combat such scams, Syiem advised citizens not to entertain unknown callers, especially those claiming to be high-ranking officials from the police department, Customs, CBI, etc.

He urged people to block such numbers immediately and refrain from sharing confidential data or installing apps on the instructions of unknown callers.

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Another prevalent scam is ‘sextortion’, where cybercriminals befriend male targets through social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp, initiating sexual video chats and recording the encounters surreptitiously.

The criminals then use the recorded content to blackmail the victim.

The police advised against accepting friend requests from strangers or entertaining video calls from unknown individuals and warned against making payments to blackmailers.

Additionally, the “WhatsApp impersonation attack” scam involves fraudsters gathering information about organizations and their employees from public domains.

They impersonate superior officials of an organization, initiating chats with subordinates and requesting them to purchase Amazon e-gift cards or make payments on their behalf under the pretext of being in an urgent meeting and unable to make calls.

The Meghalaya police urged people to be cautious and avoid falling victim to such scams.