Published: 22nd October 2019
With increased mobile penetration, cyber crime in India increases by 88% since 2015
Cyber crime has steadily been on the rise ever since mobile banking and internet services have been adopted with such elan across the country — leading to a spurt in OTP frauds, phishing and more
With great cyber power comes great cyber responsibility.
With great cyber power comes a host of cyber crime. Especially if you're in India.
According to the latest data published by the National Crime Records Bureau, cyber crimes have nearly doubled in the country within a span of just two years — 2015 to 2017. The total number of cases in the country is set at 21,796 in 2017 as compared to 11,592 in 2015 and 12,317 in 2016, as per the data that was released on Monday.
In terms of the states that had the most number of reports on cyber crimes, Uttar Pradesh tops the list as the state that received the highest number of cyber crimes in 2017, with 4,971 reports originating in the state alone out of the total of 21,796 accounted cases of cyber crime. In second place, Maharashtra had 3,604 counts of reported online crime, while Karnataka was third on the list with a total of 3,174 cases. In the North-East, Assam was found to have been recorded a sharply higher number of cyber crimes in comparison to other states, with a total of 1,120 reported cases in 2017. Across the union Territories, Delhi has the highest with the number being at 162.
Sexual exploitation such as publication/transmission of obscene/sexually explicit act in electronic form and fraudulent transactions including OTP frauds, online banking frauds, credit/debit card fraud were the most reported cybercrimes in India in 2017, as per the NCRB data. According to the document, cyber frauds led the number of reported cyber crimes by a large margin, accounting for a total of 12,213 individual reports across all states and union territories in the country. The second most individually reported cases of cyber crime came in the form of online sexual exploitation and harassment, which received 1,460 reports in 2017, as can be seen in the official records.
According to a recent statement issued by the Government in July this year, it has taken steps to spread awareness about cyber crimes, issue of alerts/advisories, capacity building/training of law enforcement personnel/ prosecutors/ judicial officers, improving cyber forensics facilities etc. to prevent such crimes and to speed up investigation for such cases. The Central Government launched the online cyber crime reporting portal, www.cybercrime.gov.in during the same month to enable complainants to report complaints pertaining to Child Pornography/Child Sexual Abuse Material, rape/gang rape imagery or sexually explicit content.
"The Central Government has rolled out a scheme for establishment of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to handle issues related to cybercrime in the country in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects as per the Constitution of India. States/UTs are primarily responsible for prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes through their law enforcement machinery. The Law Enforcement Agencies should take legal action as per provisions of law against the cyber crime offenders," said the official statement.
While the recent NCRB report provides quite an interesting insight into how the types of cyber crimes differ among different cities across India, it is extremely important to note that these only accounts for the number of cases that have been officially reported for the said year or years. When it comes to online crime, a significant number of cases often go unreported due to a varied number of reasons — lack of awareness among citizens and law keepers, fear of online trolling, media and social trials, and the list goes on. The sector of cyber crime also still remains quite unorganized in India, which further makes it difficult for cyber safety advocates and law keepers to trace down.