Cyber crimes: Women are soft targets

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Of the 60 cases currently being handled by the Cyber Crimes Cell of the Chittoor District Police, a majority pertain to crimes targeting young women and girl students, such as threatening them on social media with blackmail or personal attacks. The other cases comprise online fraud and job rackets.

The Cyber Crimes Cell came up at the district headquarters in September this year, manned by specially-trained tech-savvy police personnel. All cases falling under the ambit of cyber crimes in Chittoor district are now attached to this exclusive cell.

Though cyber crimes have been prevalent in various sections for a decade, the menace has turned serious in the district since 2017, with the first notable case of a young woman from Penumuru mandal approaching the police after her estranged lover posted objectionable content regarding her on social media.

Poor track record

The cyber cell has so far failed to achieve a significant breakthrough in any of the cases before it except in one case, sources said. Senior police officers said that investigating and cracking cyber crimes can be extremely difficult, bordering the impossible.

Cyber Crimes Cell Inspector K. Ramesh told The Hindu that there needs to be more awareness regarding cyber crimes among the public.

“A majority of the victims desist from approaching the police due to social stigma. Now, we have two particular cases of social media attacks on girls, and have convincing evidence against the perpetrators, but the cooperation from the girls’ families is wavering. That leaves us in a state of uncertainty regarding how to take the case forward,” Mr. Ramesh said.

Regarding online fraud, the special investigation by the cyber cell showed that a majority of the incidents are originating from Jamtara in Jharkhand. The organised network would use gaming apps and trojan viruses to attack their victims. The network is exploiting the impoverished families in the north-eastern states to gain access to SIM cards and mobile phones, preventing the police from identifying the gangs.

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