27,600 SIM cards used by cyber criminals blocked by Telangana State Cyber Security Bureau

Updated - February 03, 2024 11:18 am IST

Published - February 02, 2024 11:22 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Within the first nine months of its operations, the Hyderabad-headquartered Telangana State Cyber Security Bureau (TSCSB) has identified 66,726 inter-State fraudulent links across the country. The department has also identified about 19,000 suspicious links and taken down 4,481 of them.

The information was shared during the ‘cyber hygiene awareness workshop’ conducted by the department on Friday. “The department has also managed to take down 1,638 websites hosting such links or landing from these links. The State stood out as a leader in freezing suspicious transactions, with ₹128 crore being frozen by the department. We have also refunded about ₹8 crore back to the victims so far,” said TSCSB director Shikha Goel.

Between 2021 and 2023, over ₹133 crore was frozen in the suspects’ bank accounts, which is 18% of the lost amount compared to India’s total of 12%.

The bureau has also blocked 27,600 SIM cards used by cyber criminals and commenced IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) blocking as well since November 2023. To date, 2,855 IMEIs involved in cyber offences have been sent for blocking while 181 are already blocked. PT (Prisoner in Transit) warrants against accused involved in 12,054 crimes across the country, including 2025 cases in Telangana, have been executed under close monitoring by the bureau.

 First to set up ‘1930’ helpline

The state was also the first to set up 1930 helpline centre for reporting cyber crimes. On an average, the centre now receives about 2,000 calls per day.

Since its inauguration, the centre, which houses 32 constables as staff members, has received about 90,000 calls, which is the highest in the country. “Calls have doubled in the last few months,” Ms Goel said.

The bureau, on February 1, rolled out a specialised training centre for 870 police personnel from all police stations across the State that will exclusively handle cyber crime complaints and related concerns at a police station level. Moreover, 13 cyber safety advisories were issued to various government departments for 2023-24.

“Only one-fourth of the actual cyber crime cases are being reported in the city,” Hyderabad police commissioner Kothakota Sreenivasa Reddy said, highlighting the unreported cases. Over 60% of such cases can be avoided with proper awareness, he added. 

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