Mewat region of Haryana has recently been dubbed the new Jamtara following a dramatic increase in cybercrime incidents. This comes on the heels of the second part of the Jamtara web series, which focuses on the growing issue of cyber-crime, being released on OTT platforms. Data shows that about 8,500 new cases emerge each month, prompting the state police department to develop a foolproof strategy to crack down on cyber criminals.
The neighbouring districts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and the National Capital Delhi have also seen a significant rise in cyber crime. This upward trend is particularly pronounced in the Mewat, Fatehabad, Gurugram, and Faridabad districts, raising concerns for both the government and the police department. As a result, police in these districts are implementing additional preventive measures to tackle the issue.
In the first quarter of 2023 alone (January to March), nearly 25,000 cyber crime complaints were registered. Of these, 531 cases were filed, and 299 cyber criminals were arrested. The Cyber Helpdesk, operating 24/7 since 1930, has successfully saved around Rs.10 crore in the last three months by collaborating with district police. As cyber crime rates continue to rise, police are prioritising timely action and swift case registration.
OP Singh, Additional Director General of Police, State Crime Branch, Haryana, emphasised the importance of enhancing cyber training and public awareness to combat cyber crime, which often relies on social engineering. Haryana state police are organising cyber awareness programs in each district and have released the 2023 Cyber Training Calendar. This initiative aims to provide cyber crime training to every investigative officer in the state. Fraudsters have been found to target victims by posing as foreign relatives in distress, pressuring them to transfer funds to the fraudsters’ accounts.
The Haryana Police urge the public to exercise caution and avoid trusting calls or messages from unknown numbers or suspicious individuals. In response to the severity of the situation, Haryana Police launched a large-scale operation against cyber criminals in the Nuh district at the end of last month. The operation involved 102 teams with over 5,000 personnel, who conducted raids in 14 villages and apprehended 125 hackers and cyber criminals. The police also confiscated numerous digital gadgets, ATM cards, smart- phones, laptops, Aadhaar cards, and ATM swipe machines. Interrogation of the suspects is ongoing to gather further leads.