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Cybercrime is increasing rapidly in the country, the most fraud through sextortion

News Trust of India : In today’s digital age, cybercrime has arisen as a huge issue affecting individuals and authorities alike. Across every part of the nation, fraudsters are targeting unsuspecting victims, ranging from ordinary citizens to high-profile figures. According to a report presented by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra in the Lok Sabha, Uttar Pradesh witnessed the highest number of cybercrimes during the 2022-23 period, with over 2 lakh people falling victim to cyber fraud, resulting in a staggering loss of Rs 721.1 crore.

Cybercrime Hotspots and Trends

Maharashtra and Gujarat follow Uttar Pradesh in terms of the largest number of reported cybercrime instances. Uttar Pradesh has built cyber police stations in 16 districts to address this growing danger, deploying top officers and leveraging modern technology to dissuade cybercriminal activities. Despite these attempts, the frequency of cyber fraud remained pervasive, with over 11.28 lakh cases registered nationwide during the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Factors Contributing to Cyber Fraud

One of the key causes behind the growth in cyber fraud is the lack of awareness among the people. Despite broad warning efforts and numerous incidents of fraud, individuals continue to fall prey to scams, often disclosing personal information such as OTPs to unknown entities. Additionally, naïve consumers become victims of phishing attempts through unsolicited SMS, WhatsApp messages, or emails, further worsening the problem.

Emerging Threats and Tactics

Cybercriminals adopt numerous strategies to swindle victims, with sextortion and friendship scams being among the most frequent. Perpetrators exploit social media platforms to entice unwary victims, engaging them in chats that progress to the exchange of sexual content. Subsequently, they blackmail their victims with compromising material, coercing them into financial extortion.

Combatting Cybercrime: Strategies for Protection

To safeguard against cyber risks, individuals must maintain attention, particularly when utilizing social media platforms. Avoid accepting friend requests from unfamiliar profiles, especially those demonstrating suspicious behavior or content. Prioritize validating the legitimacy of profiles by examining their activity, shared material, and common relationships. Furthermore, refrain from engaging in video calls from unknown numbers on platforms such as WhatsApp to decrease the chance of falling victim to scammers.

Seeking Assistance and Reporting Incidents

In the event of meeting suspicious activity or being a victim of cybercrime, citizens are recommended to seek quick assistance from law enforcement authorities. Rather than submitting to extortion or coercion, victims should make a formal complaint with the police, including specific information about the incident. Timely reporting not only improves the investigation process but also assists in raising awareness and preventing other cases of cyber crime.