Sunday, July 14, 2024

Special wing to deal with social media-related crimes: CID SP

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PNS | Vijayawada

In a proactive move to tackle the rising menace of cybercrimes, CID SP V Harsha Vardan Raju announced the formation of a specialized wing dedicated to addressing online and social media-related frauds. The new unit will focus on tackling online financial fraud, online gambling/betting, cyberbullying, stalking, sexting, job fraud, matrimonial fraud, ransomware, cryptocurrency, and online loan frauds.

During a press conference on Friday, the CID SP emphasized the stern action that will be taken against individuals engaging in trolling, derogatory comments, and abusive posts on social media platforms, targeting any specific individuals or groups. To combat cyberbullying effectively, a special monitoring unit has been established, which has already identified around 3000 cyberbullies in the state.

The rapid pace of digitalisation in India has brought along the alarming rise of cybercrime. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported a 5 percent increase in cybercrime cases in 2021 compared to the previous year, and a staggering 15 percent increase from 2019.

In Andhra Pradesh alone, there were 1,875 reported cybercrime cases in 2021 and 1,899 in 2020. To address this growing concern, the Cybercrimes Police Station (CCPS) was established in 2002, becoming the first dedicated police station in India to combat cybercrimes. Subsequently, two more cyber crime police stations were set up in NTR and Visakhapatnam commissionerates to investigate cyber-related offences.

The CCPS has introduced specialised frameworks to deal with cyberbullying campaigns based on gender, religion, caste, and politics across various platforms. In an effort to combat the spread of fake news and remove abusive content by cyberbullies, a helpline number (9071666667) has been set up. The CCPS actively monitors aggressive cyberbullies and has already identified 3000 such individuals.

To address cyberbullying originating from abroad, the CCPS has established collaborations with Interpol and other countries through Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) notices. Additionally, the National Cyber Police Reporting Portal (NCRP) has been launched, allowing citizens to report cybercrimes online. As the Nodal Officer for Andhra Pradesh, the CCPS ensures efficient handling and updates on reported complaints. The NCRP’s primary focus is on child pornography, child sexual abuse material, and related content, leading to the registration of 225 FIRs so far.

To provide support to victims of online financial fraud, a toll-free helpline number 1930 has been established, which has registered an impressive 23,042 complaints to date. This initiative has led to the freezing of over Rs 30 crore in fraudulent transactions.

The CCPS stays ahead of cybercriminals by utilizing advanced and sophisticated technologies. They have established a dedicated cyber forensic lab equipped with state-of-the-art technological tools for digital forensics and social media analysis. To promote cyber awareness among the public, the CCPS conducts awareness campaigns on various social media platforms, educating people about trending cyber frauds, new modus operandi, and general internet safety. They have also enlisted around 60 registered Cyber Volunteers, playing a crucial role in identifying vulnerable areas of cyber fraud and participating in awareness campaigns.

To further enhance cyber awareness, a cyber hackathon is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Visakhapatnam.

The establishment of this specialized wing and the various initiatives undertaken by the CCPS demonstrates the commitment of Andhra Pradesh to combat cybercrimes effectively and safeguard its citizens in the digital era.

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