Despite high literacy rate, cybercrimes in Mangaluru on rise

10:00 AM, Monday, December 11th, 2017

high-litracyMangaluru: In spite of frequent cases of cybercrime being reported on the media and enough public awareness messages by police to be alert about bogus mails, Mangalureans continue to fall into the fraudsters’ trap.

Ever since the cybercrime police station was setup in June, 19 people have lost at least Rs 57 lakh to fraudsters. This is the amount that is calculated only from the complaints registered. According to the police, the cumulative amount lost by Mangalureans is at least Rs 20 lakh more, but these victims have have shied away from filing police complaints and have made peace with the lost money and the case after bringing the issue to the notice of the police.

Inspector Savitra Tej said cases can be divided into two categories: money siphoned off from credit/debit card after breach of data and frauds through social media, e-mails and e-commerce websites. While the amount lost to compromise on the data from credit/debit card is Rs 3,12,115, the rest is siphoned off from online scams.

Explaining some of the most interesting cases, Savitra Tej said a woman lost Rs 32,36,350 for the lure of an iPhone. A man lost Rs 11,39,500 to a woman, who introduced herself to be from the United Kingdom. She expressed her interest to marry him and demanded money on the pretext of taking him to the UK. In another case, a teenager mortgaged all his jewellery to arrange Rs 1,43,500 to pay the fraudster who hoodwinked the boy that he had won a BMW.

Speaking about the modus operandi of the fraudsters, the inspector said they would first identify and befriend a potential victim on social media as a person of the same religion the victim belongs to.

“The fraudster will introduce himself/herself as a Hindu or a Christian or Muslim depending on the religion the victim is identified by. After striking a good camaraderie, the culprit promises the victim of a gift or a job and makes the victim transfer money. The fraudster then goes untraceable.”

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