Over 550 complaints registered till July this year, writes Petlee Peter

Cyber crime appears to be on the rise in the city this year, going by the increasing number of petitions and complaints that the police are receiving.

While there were over 1,200 petitions in 2010, of which 300 related to email hacking, phishing and online lottery frauds, this year more than 550 complaints have poured in by July.

Sources in the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the city police, which handles cyber crime, said 45 complaints of hacking of email accounts and 55 complaints of people falling prey to phishing mails or becoming a victim of other online frauds have been reported till May this year.

Biggest case

The biggest case of the year so far has been the loss of Rs.31.65 lakh suffered by a Chennai-based trader to a ‘Nigerian scam'.

Starting from January, he had replied to four phishing mails stating that he had won huge sums in overseas lotteries and sent money to the tricksters.

In 2010, the Cyber Crime Wing handled 126 cases of phishing, 75 cases of online lottery fraud and 100 cases of email hacking.

The wing registered 48 cases and arrested 44 persons, CCB sources said.

A total of 982 cases were reported in 2009, including 83 complaints of phishing, 68 complaints of online lottery fraud and 94 complaints of email hacking.

In 2008, there were 60 complaints of email hackings and 42 complaints of online fraud including cases of online lotteries.

‘Elders falling prey'

Speaking about the increase in online lottery cases in the last five years, Deputy Commissioner of Police (CCB) A.Radhika said greed was the cause for many people falling victim to such mail.

“There is lot of awareness among the youngsters but it is mainly elders who fall prey to these frauds.

They should simply understand that no one will give big sums for free,” she added.

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Petlee PeterJune 28, 2012