Cyber crimes on the rise in Chandigarh

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Cyber crimes on the rise in Chandigarh

Tuesday, 09 December 2014 | Bhupinder Sharma | Chandigarh

Along with the penetration of computers and internet usage through mobile devices, cyber crimes too are increasing in Chandigarh.

Data on the website of Chandigarh police related to various cyber crimes during the last three years suggests the growing trend and also the inability of the Chandigarh police to handle the new threat.

The data shows that the number of complaints related to cyber crime, including online scam like jobs, articles won, lottery, fake websites and cheating through e-mail has been increasing.

Police received 170 complaints in 2012, which increased to 1180 in 2013. The figure stood at 683 till July this year for which information has been made available.

When the final tally comes, it would easily cross the figures of last year. Ironically, due to lack of infrastructure and technical expertise, police could solve only 30 complaints out of 170 in 2012, 43 out of 1180 in 2013 and 19 out of 683 complaints related to threatening, unwanted calls, SMS etc, hacking of e-mail, ATM/credit card fraud, online scam (job/articles/lottery) and lottery scam/cheating through e-mail etc this year.

ATM related debit or credit card crimes are not considered as cyber crime, hence it is dealt by the crime branch of local police, said Gurjant Singh of cyber crime cell.

Besides online scams or related to internet crimes, the debit or credit card related crimes are showing an increasing trends. Sahil Baghla, ethical hacking expert and CEO of EH1-Infotech, said every month innocent customers find their cards used in places far away from their cities, even though they still have their original card.

“Staying ahead of the banks’ security systems, the fraudsters have evolved new cloning methods,” added Baghla.

He said generally miscreants adopt two methods to get required information to make clone of debit/credit cards–by putting the skimmers on ATM machines and by using Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled devices, which scan the debit/credit cards even when the card is in your wallet or bag.

The usage of NFC enabled devices is quite popular especially magnetic strip cards, however it doesn’t work on chip installed cards. Fraudsters scan the cards by NFC enabled devices and easily get the name of the allottee of the card but also CVV-Card Verification Value number and expiry date of the card, etc.

After getting data of cards, the fake or cloned card is made by portable magnetic card recorders, blank cards with magnetic strips and then a special machine which are easily available in Chinese markets through numbers of websites. 

After getting cloned cards, the frauds use their social and technical skill to get PIN number and rob their money from the ATM located as far away places. Another cyber security expert Arun Soni said several android based apps provide similar facility of NFC scanning of cards.

ATM skimmers are placed on unguarded ATM machines by miscreants to easily get the required data of card, when customers use these machines.

Baghla added that it sad that neither police nor the concerned banks take the responsibility of such losses of money withdrawn from the ATMs fraudulently.

Gurjant Singh of the cyber cell of Chandigarh Police says it is very difficult to nab the ATM fraudsters though their footage is there in the CCTV.

“The crime is committed far away from the residence of the customers hence it is not possible to locate any person who withdrew the money,” added Singh.

When any such ATM card fraud is reported, banks put the onus on the customers for not remaining alert while using their cards. A bank official said they have already started improving security features with chip and pin cards, but due to the new techniques of the fraudsters, customers would have to remain alert all the time.

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