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More cells for cyber crime

Lalbazar: The city is set to have a cyber crime cell in each of the nine police divisions to tackle the growing number of complaints of tech torment, especially from women.

Now, there is only one such cell for the entire city - functioning from the police headquarters at Lalbazar.

The first two cyber crime cells are likely to be in the port and south suburban divisions, sources said.

On an average, around 200 cases are forwarded to the cyber crime cell at Lalbazar from the 79 police stations annually.

Add to that the complaints the cell receives via emails and the social media.

This year till May, the Lalbazar cell has received more than 1,700 complaints.

"A large number of such complaints are from women. Complaints related to e-mail hacking, fake social media profiles and cheating through impersonation are common. For faster and more effective disposal of such cases, we plan to set up a cyber crime cell in each of the nine police divisions across the city," an officer at Lalbazar said.

"The location of the cyber crime cells are not yet finalised. The premises of the women police stations are one option," another officer said.

The primary duty of the cyber crime cells, officers said, will be to tackle trolling and provide the forensic back-up needed for investigating cyber offences.

Metro had in October reported that 86 posts had been created for tackling cyber crime. Apart from new recruits, select officers from police stations are being trained to investigate cyber offences.

The cases registered under the information technology act can only be probed by an officer of the rank of inspector or above.

"Be it extracting evidence from a cellphone, trailing the digital imprints of a fake profile on the social media or preserving data while making a seizure, everything needs special expertise. In addition to crimes against individuals, cases of attacks on religious communities have also gone up considerably," a source said.

The most common cyber crimes - apart from the ones against women - include

• ATM fraud - a caller introduces himself/herself as a bank official and manages to extract details of the ATM card for fraudulent online transactions

• Hacking Netbanking accounts to transfer money through a series of e-wallets (that are opened with fake documents and details). The process in most cases wipes off the money trail

• Sending emails saying the recipients have won a huge reward, to redeem which they have to make some payment online

• Data theft - the accused either hacks or illegally accesses a company's data and smuggles/sells them to a rival company

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