Bhubaneswar: The Covid-induced lockdowns and shutdowns have proved to be a boon for the cyber fraudsters who dupe city dwellers with ease through online platforms.
The cyber cell of the Commissionerate Police said at least 256 people were conned by the fraudsters who took away nearly Rs 78.78 lakh in May this year.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Uma Shankar Dash told the Times of India that the cyber criminals mostly targeted people who preferred to purchase essential commodities during shutdowns. He said 63 persons were hoodwinked through UPI transactions and 48 deceived while doing debit and credit card transactions.
The DCP said the helpdesk personnel had acted very swiftly to recover nearly Rs 12 lakh.
The Commissionerate Police have registered 123 cyber criminal cases in 2020 as compared to 124 such cases in the previous year. The cyber criminal offences have risen by 31 per cent in 2020 as compared to the previous year also.
Police sources said 1931 cases were registered during 2020 as compared to 1475 in 2019 and added that the majority of fraud cases occurred during lockdowns.
Director General of Police Abhay has advised the people not to be lured away by the ploy of fraudsters who are out to steal their money through fake websites for vaccination and other related activity linked to Covid testing.
Police officials said CoWin portal, Aarogya Setu and Umang apps are the credible ones for any Covid related activity. The police cautioned that people should not register details for procuring oxygen, vaccination and others through websites and online platforms other than those mentioned above.