- How often have we not heard about a time-tested saying that says every aspect of life is akin to a double-edged sword that comes with merits and demerits, advantages and disadvantages, and good and bad? Innumerable times would be the answer. No one can dispute this fact. We all know how the digital revolution has completely overhauled the way our day-to-day existence is defined. The advantages of digitalization efforts need no elaboration. And due credit should go to the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for not only adopting cutting-edge digital technology to further its various socio-welfare schemes but also ensuring the bane of middlemen eating into the intended beneficiaries is completely eradicated.
- That makes sense why so many bank accounts were opened in the past nine years where the beneficiaries received the financial benefits directly. The push for digitalization has tremendously yielded the desired results, obliterating the earlier necessity of going through the rigmarole of manual processes. Concurrently, the menace of cybercrime has shot up exponentially, affecting gullible citizens who are tricked through ingenious means by digital criminals. Now, a Haryana district has emerged as the latest cybercrime hotspot. Worryingly, this threat is set to grow as the digital transition accelerates. Last week, Haryana’s police force carried out a complex operation wherein over 5000 policemen raided 300 locations in 14 villages in the state’s Nuh district.
- Of course, the targets were hackers, often just school dropouts. Don’t say we have already seen this happen in Jamtara. Indeed, it’s repetition at a different place. At least 65 people have been arrested, and the hunt is on for the mastermind. Note that cybercrime is increasingly a leaderless exercise as a smartphone and SIM card are the only tools needed. Nuh’s geographical location helped it become a base of operations because black spots make it difficult to trace calls. It’s unlikely that the operation in Nuh will be the last time police raids on cybercriminals get headlines. The GOI’s cybercrime portal receives over 3,500 complaints a day. It’s a sizeable underestimate of the actual scale of cybercrime, as not all victims know how to file a complaint.
- Not only here, but Interpol also surveyed police forces among its member states to publish the first-ever global report on crime trends. It was identified that financial and cybercrime crimes are among the world’s leading crime threats. In particular, phishing and online scams were rated as high or very high threats. As such, India’s huge mobile phone user base, phishing, and dubious online platforms offering financial products are the most potent threats. Phishing occurs when perpetrators mask their identities and persuade people to share sensitive financial information. Thus, law enforcement agencies, along with the GOI and RBI, must jointly initiate measures to crack down on cybercriminals. Of course, creating awareness among citizens should also be prioritized.