GUWAHATI: Amidst the corona pandemic, another bane that has come to light in Assam is the spike in the number of cybercrimes even as the reasons behind it are still to be ascertained.
ADGP, CID, Assam Dr LR Bishnoi told The Sentinel, "Nowadays, everybody is very active in the social media. We use the social media to bring about awareness among the masses on the good and misuse of it. We have already made the public know of our Facebook page, WhatsApp number, Twitter account, and toll-free numbers so that they can have easy access to us."
The ADGP pointed out, "When we compare the number of cases before the COVID-19 lockdown and after it, we see a lots of differences. Even as other crimes have nosedived during the lockdown in the State, cybercrimes have gone up sharply.
"Before the lockdown, the number of cybercrimes in November 2019 was 218 that rose to 232 in December. It fell to 119 in January 2020 only to rise to 207 in February. From March 1-23 this year, the number of cybercrimes was 182. In just eight days from March 24 to 31, 2020, during the lockdown, there were five cybercrimes. In April, it rose to 226. We've received 80 complaints through the Whatsapp helpline number."
According to Bishnoi, the status reports during lockdown 1.0 and 2.0 are: 32 cybercrime cases reported on helpline, 14 fake Facebook accounts, eight fake Instagram accounts, two other cybercrimes (data theft and ransom ware) etc have been detected.
"We received seven cases of financial and online banking frauds involving Rs 8,86,936 during lockdown 1.0 and 2.0. Of them, we could recover an amount of Rs 1,88,865 which has been refunded. We've arrested 50 persons against the registration of 96 cases for the circulation of fake news on social media/rumours on COVID-19 till May 18, 2020. While 12 of the arrested persons are on bail, 20 others have been released under Section 41 of the CrPC," he said.