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Cyber crimes

Editorial CAITLYN SAMPLEY AGGIE


The menace of cyber crimes has spread its tentacles across the globe and Kashmir too is falling prey to it. Every other day reports of people being duped of their hard-earned money by spammers, and phishing attacks come to the fore. Alone in 2020, Cyber Police Kashmir received over 300 complaints about the misuse of social media and over 400 cases of financial fraud cases. According to reports, new and powerful cyber-attacks are regularly striking the internet in Kashmir. Cyber-crimes include phishing, data theft, identity theft, online lottery, job frauds, cyber hacking, child pornography, cyber stalking, online job/game frauds, photo or video morphing, etc. In its latest advisory on Wednesday, Cyber Crime Police in Kashmir said that it had gone into an overdrive to aware the netizens about the online abusers and blackmailers in the valley. Cyber Police said that accepting random friend requests, video calls on Facebook or WhatsApp from strangers can land you in trouble. Blackmailers have devised a modus operandi to befriend people online and later get their photos and videos through a video call and morph these on pornographic photos and videos to blackmail the victim. This is one of the latest additions to the stream of cyber crimes that are taking place in Kashmir. Cyber Police have also issued detailed dos and don’ts to save the gullible people from falling into the prey of sextortion rackets. It has asked people not to panic and not accept any friend requests from strangers. Police have also cautioned people to avoid engaging in a video chat with strangers, never pay money to strangers, immediately inform family, friends, and relatives about it, and report it to the local police or cyber police. The police have also asked the people to preserve all evidence like screenshots for helping the cops. Police also promised confidentiality to the victim after he or she reported the matter. Since people are spending a lot of time on social media, they knowingly share a lot of personal information over the time which helps online scammers to dupe a person in a way that he or she falls into the trap. The recent case of a former NDTV journalist being duped into believing that she had landed a job in Harvard University is one of the strangest examples how even the brightest minds can be fooled by these online scammers who are always eyeing to gather and misuse a person’s information. One has to be very cautious and alert while using the internet and make sure any unsolicited requests are cautiously gauged and at best not entertained at all.