Cybercrimes see a spurt


Hyderabad: With increasing reliance on internet banking and payment through cards, there is a spurt in cyber crimes and as per available data, Telangana occupies fourth rank in the country in these new and emerging crimes. Cybercrimes, as per the State Crime Records Bureau, can take place against a person, against a technology, or against a property. While transmitting obscene content or stalking using a computer or internet falls under cyber crimes against a person, hacking, virus attacks, and worm attacks come under crimes against technology. And cyber crimes against property include computer piracy and phishing.

The Cybercrime police particularly warn of potential threats due to phishing, as the trend has gaining alarming proportions. Phishing is a fraudulent process used to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. Senior officials of the cybercrime department suggest following a few simple steps to steer clear of potential cyber attacks related to online transactions. U Ram Mohan, Superintendent of Police, Cyber Crimes, suggest that credit cards are not be used for online payments except for POS purchases. “Credit cards should not be used especially while ordering items from abroad as the transaction doesn’t warrant any authentication using a one-time password (OTP), so the same saved details can be used by fraudulent persons and make transactions on your name,” he says.

He also advises to erase off CVV number present behind the credit card so that one can refrain from using the card. However, he suggests that credit cards can be used for offline payments made by swiping. The pin numbers of debit cards must be changed on a regular basis. “Skimming and card cloning are possible in ATM centres, in some cases, hidden cameras are also mounted on machines to capture your card details. So, it is advisable to frequently change ATM pins,” Ram Mohan points out.

He adds that only the helpline number present behind the card must be used in case of any complaint, as there is a possibility of popping up of bogus helpline number on your bank name if you search online. On phishing, the officer says that no bank makes a call and ask for OTP or card details. “Do not share your security credentials online,” he says. Once the OTP is shared, there is no way the lost amount can be recovered, unlike credit card frauds where money up to Rs 1 lakh can be recovered on filing a complaint within three days with the bank and the nearest police station. For security questions, the officer recommends the use of answers that are not factual and could be guessed by others.