Bengaluru: The city’s Cyber Crime Police Station (CCPS) has been receiving cases of a new modus operandi, where sellers on websites fraud people by delivering them fake products instead of the plush ones they ordered. Victims of this “gifts scam”, as it is being called have lost from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 , with around five cases being filed per day.
People are being scammed on websites as well as a popular Facebook marketplace where exorbitant and high quality products are advertised but the buyers receive fake, low-quality or copy products. In response, police did raid a go-down but no constructive steps have been taken as shutting down the alleged websites or finding the miscreants.
“Two days ago, a go-down was raided at Ramanagara where fake products were stored. They would advertise good-quality products and cheat customers with fake ones. This year, two cases were cracked – the second one by the CID cyber cell,” says K N Yeshvanth Kumar, cybercrime inspector in-charge of the Cyber Crime Police Station.
The buyers are being duped on various purchases, Essesse Satheesh, a product developer accounts- “I purchased a second hand Apple Watch but received a fake and lost Rs 16,000.” Another buyer wanted to file a complaint to the police, to see the site shut down, “I had lost only Rs 2,000, but more than getting my money back, I want to inform the police that the website Mindhole.com is fake and that others should not fall for it”.
Bengaluru has only one cybercrime police station with a tally of 8,200 cases this year, and in 2018 CCPS registered 5,036 cases and officials says that this number could easily go up to 10,000 if more cyber crime police stations are not introduced in the city; to open more of these has been repeatedly proposed to no effect.
Since 2017, only 3,000 of 12,000 cases have been disposed. “The numbers may seem alarming but that is because one station caters to the whole city. The CCP stations will come in soon but cannot say when,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Patil.