With the rise in cybercrime amid isolation, police stations in West Uttar Pradesh are being trained to deal with complaints more quickly. UP Police are implementing digital literacy programs in eight districts in the Agra zone so that cyberspace complaints can be resolved at the police station level.
From banks to social media organizations, local police, in addition to Cyber Cell, will be able to write directly to representatives of the organizations depending on the nature of the crime. To facilitate this, the list of Twitter representatives, Facebook and other app- and website-based organizations have been transferred to police stations in eight districts.
“There is a general trend towards an increase in the number of cybercrimes with the introduction of the Covid quarantine. There are many victims of phishing, scams, impersonation, and a range of other cybercrimes. Many of these crimes can be solved very quickly if you know who and when to contact. Therefore, we are organizing workshops so that the police stations themselves can write to the relevant companies and more effectively approach such offenses, ”said Rajiv Krishna, ADG Zone Agra.
Police in the Agra zone have teamed up with the Cyberpeace Foundation, a civil society organization working in the cybersecurity field, to conduct training workshops over several weeks, ending by July. To date, five such trainings have been held for officials in Aligarh, Agra, Mathura, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Eta, Khatras and Kasganj.
In the classroom, the police get acquainted with the methods of the first response in the case of cyber fraud. In the event of financial fraud, the police can immediately contact banks to suspend operations pending an investigation, which can protect the victim’s money. In cases of abuse, threats or impersonation on social media, timely intervention can lead to the identification of the accused, police said.
Until June 17 this year, eight counties had filed a total of 4,840 cyberspace-related complaints, of which 2,987 were filed offline. The maximum number of complaints is for phishing, UPI scams and impersonation / fake profiles. There were about 8,300 cyberspace complaints filed in the Agra zone in 2020, according to police data. According to police, data to date shows a 20 percent increase in cybercrimes, and isolation may be associated with an important factor.
In case the victim is looking for an autonomous FIR, the investigator can prepare a report indicating the actions to be taken in the relevant department. Each of the eight counties has a designated officer who will review the report and send official mail on behalf of the police.
“In general, few people know about cyber fraud. Many people are unaware of some very simple tools that can either reverse a criminal transaction or allow it. The idea is to make the local police station the one-stop solution for cybercrime complaints, ”said Krishna.
The police have divided cybercrime into three parts – T1, T2 and T3. The first category includes phishing, financial crime, fraud, work fraud, and spousal fraud. The T2 classification describes fake profiles, hacking, identity theft, cyberbullying, stalking, and sexting crimes. In T3, the police listed incidents involving computer damage, email hacking, gambling, ransomware, cyber terrorism, cryptocurrency fraud, data leakage, and provocative speech.