Telangana lost ₹157 crore to cyber criminals in February

Over ₹119 crore was lost in 7,672 cases across the top five Modus Operandi (MO) in February, as per the official data

March 06, 2024 12:16 am | Updated 07:10 am IST - HYDERABAD

Shikha Goel

Shikha Goel


Citizens of Telangana lost ₹157 crore to cyber criminals in February 2024. A total of 9,661 cyber crime cases were reported to the Telangana State Cyber Security Bureau (TSCSB), of which 8,088 were financial frauds.  

Over ₹119 crore was lost in 7,672 cases across the top five Modus Operandi (MO) in February, as per the official data. Of this, a little of ₹5 crore has been frozen so far.  

“The increase in reporting of such cyber crimes can be attributed to the streamlining of the 1930 helpline which began in January 2024. We also have cyber warriors in  every police station which has reduced some load of the status calls from the central system,” said Shikha Goel, Director of TSCSB.

Identity theft, particularly credit/debit card frauds, Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) frauds, fake customer care service frauds impersonating parcel delivery companies like FedEx, Blue Dart and banks and income tax frauds, topped the list with 3,143 cases. Fraudsters conned the public to the tune of ₹23 crore in the name of blocking of card, card limit enhancement,  KYC updation, PAN card linkage, replacement of card and reward points. 

Business and investment frauds followed the lead, with 1,822 cases reported during the month and close to ₹84.5 crore was lost. Under this category, stock market trading frauds targeting investors, especially with the allure of securing pre-allotment in upcoming Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) by means of institutional investment in the stock market, have been on a rise.

In the past two months, 213 such cases have been reported with total losses amounting to ₹27 crore, as compared to just ₹3 crore throughout 2023. A total of 627 cases were reported in the previous year. 

A businessman from Kukatpally lost ₹55 crore after joining a WhatsApp group called ‘Goldman Sachs Business School’ and investing in an unauthorised app called GSIN. 

In another such case, a software engineer from KPHB lost over ₹1 crore after joining a WhatsApp group named ‘Stock Market Research Institute’ and investing in an unauthorised app called ‘Wells Pro’. Interestingly, he was promised pre-allotment of the ‘Konstelec’ IPO through Foreign Institutional Investment.

Moreover, citizens have lost close to ₹5 crore in frauds involving impersonation of popular business entities and higher ranked officials and fake orders through calls. 

Loan frauds also continued to be one of the top five MOs this month, with customers losing over ₹2 crore. In most cases, fraudsters harassed the victims by sending morphed images to their contacts and to demand more money. 

Officials from the TSCSB said that the advertisement frauds through e-commerce platforms continue to be on a rise. “People have lost over ₹5 crore to such fraudsters believing the advertisements shared via these forums,” they said.

With the evolving nature of cyber crimes and no geographical limitations, it is important to not give into the latest MOs, Ms Goel stressed, adding that timely reporting can also save much damage.

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