Telangana registers over 58,000 cybercrime cases in first half of 2024, loses ₹898 crore

Residents of the State haemorrhaged their money mostly in investment fraud, impersonation, identity theft, loan fraud and advertisement frauds, shows data from Telangana Cyber Security Bureau

Updated - July 10, 2024 11:28 pm IST

Published - July 10, 2024 08:53 pm IST - HYDERABAD

  

Telangana has the dubious distinction of having crossed the 50,000-mark in cybercrime cases in the first half of 2024. The State reported 58,654 cases between January and June, in which a whopping ₹898.01 crore was lost to cyber criminals, as per information shared by the Telangana Cyber Security Bureau (TGCSB).

A total of 9,167 cases were reported in June alone, in which citizens lost ₹183.81 crore. Fifty-four cyber criminals, including 17 from Telangana, were arrested in the past month and ₹22.55 crore was refunded to the victims. Over the past six months, the State police froze ₹123.83 crore across accounts of cyber criminals.

Cyberabad a cybercrime hub

In the past six months, Cyberabad police commissionerate reported 2,627 cases and over ₹67.01 crore lost to cyber criminals whereas Hyderabad police commissionerate reported 2,176 cases with ₹53.02 crore lost. It was followed by Rachakonda with 1,428 cases and ₹27.71 crore lost.  

The TGCSB registered 135 cases in which ₹13.50 crore was lost. Among the districts, Sangareddy led the charts with 316 cases and ₹3.50 crore lost to cyber criminals.

Impersonation, business frauds  

Over 78% of the amount or ₹705.58 crore was lost to five modus operandi — business and investment frauds; impersonation; identity theft; loan frauds; and advertisement frauds.  

A significant amount — ₹470.21 crore — was lost in business and investment frauds, wherein criminals reach out to victims on social media platforms with fake trading applications on the promise of high returns, the data showed.

Identity thefts via KYC updates, fake customer care calls, reward points, credit card limit enhancement had led to citizens losing 81.22 crore this year. In such cases, fraudulent APKs or banking trojans, masqueraded as legitimate banking apps steal financial and sensitive data from victim’s smartphone.

The infamous impersonation frauds with scammers posing as global courier services, law enforcement agencies and customs officials saw citizens losing over ₹73.90 crore. Fraudsters use fake police uniforms and IDs during video calls and ensure that the victim is isolated during the entire process in the name of “maintaining secrecy during investigation”.

Advertisement frauds, featuring ‘too good to be true’ payments for products and services and even job offers stood fourth in the list, with total loses crossing ₹66.71 crore.

Meanwhile, unofficial online lending apps have cost citizens ₹13.62 crore. According to the officials, in such cases, scammers extort additional payments by threatening to leak intimate photos from victim’s device to their contact list.

Most victims men, private employees 

Men constituted 80.78% (7,406 of the total 9,167) of the victims in June. The trend continued from the beginning of the year.

Among the job profiles, 51% victims were private employees followed by business owners or self-employed individuals (19%). Notably, homemakers (7%) were also among the top five targets, followed by students (6%) and government employees (5%) and farmers (3%).

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