‘Most cases of banking frauds are reported during festive season’: Rajdipsinh Zala

Rajdipsinh Zala, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime Cell, Ahmedabad

With regard to shady call centres, why is Gujarat the new favourite hunting spot?

The data which we received shows Gujarat, Maharashtra and South Indian states such as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh having the highest number of victims. We believe with maximum internet penetration in these states, we see an upward trend in rise of victims from here. While insurance frauds occur all through the year, it is during the festive season that we see maximum cases of banking fraud where victims are coerced to share details of their bank accounts and cards.

Do you have a dedicated team to tackle with the menace of fake call centres?

We don't have a specific team to deal only with call centres, however, we have a small dedicated team which has shown terrific results in the past one year with the help of technical and human intelligence.

What are the kinds of cyber scams the cyber crime police have come across recently in Gujarat?

Till now, we have encountered at least 16-17 different kinds of scams which have targeted people in Gujarat. The age group of victims is (20-80 years) as you can see that insurance scams usually happen with senior citizens, job portal scams with youngsters, online shopping scams with tech savvy folks and loan scams with young and middle aged people. Usually data of clients and customers are easily available with the accused and then they approach the victims. However, new trends in cyber crime show that the fraudsters also manipulate search engine optimisation (SEO) in order to confuse people and make them fall into their trap.

Tell us more about manipulation of search engine optimisation with regard to cyber crime.

It's a saying in cyber crime that if you happen to murder anyone, you can easily dump their body on the second page of google results and no one will find out. We never surf beyond page 1 of the search results in Google and this is what the fraudsters exploit. When we type the bank's name on google search, the result shows the phone number of the fraudsters in the first 2-3 options and we unknowingly fall into their trap. We once tracked a man in Bihar who had listed his phone number in at least 15 fake, impersonating websites pertaining to banks and government run schemes. You should always check for the phone number mentioned on your debit or credit cards.