Cyber Criminals: Faceless and Space-less


Cyber security has been a growing threat ever since the spiraling phenomena of internet seeped into every nook and corner of the globe. Cyber crime is now an issue not only for government and business firms, but also for individuals. There has been growing number of cyber crimes, be it hacking into government files, business accounts, or minor cases at the individual level.

In a report by The Hindu today, the number of fraudsters growing in the various dating and matrimonial sites are on the rise. The report went on to claim that men have been using the matrimonial websites as platforms to create a fake identity (complementing it with bogus Facebook profiles) and ensnaring gullible women with false promises of marriage. It goes on to say that one of the many women who had fallen victim to this sham even paid her “fiancé” 11 lakh rupees who claimed that he was in dire need of the money and would return it to before marriage.

Many similar cases have been reported in which independent, and well-earning women have been trapped in charades of false promises. Mostly, women working in IT sectors in cities like Bangalore and Mysore have fallen victim to this kind of fraudulence, or at least these are the ones coming forward to report this growing crime.

The same report by The Hindu also argues that according to cyber security experts, the matrimonial sites are liable under the Information Technology Act 2000 in case of such deceitful operations which find platforms in these websites. However, the websites have disclaimers that declare beforehand that in cases of fraudulence the website cannot be held liable.

It hasn’t been many days to the news which went viral that reported nude pictures of Hollywood actors to have been leaked from their iCloud profiles.  Even photo morphing has widely grown as a cyber crime these days.

With the kind of virtual platform provided by the internet, it has become very easy for criminals to take to the cyber world and indulge in these kinds of fraudulent act. Cyberspace allows for invisibility of the criminal. As a result of which, it becomes highly improbable for the victims to hunt down their predators; criminals could be just anywhere– next door or at another end of the world. Tracing becomes almost impossible due to which criminals get away with cybercrimes in just a jiffy; faceless and space-less.

Even though innovations like the internet and the smartphone has made life simpler, it has, at the same time, also made people vulnerable and their lives’ complicated. Our online data and records are in an incessant state of risk. Even our “followers” and “friends” on our social networking spaces can turn out to be cons seeking to hound on his or her next victim.

Cyber criminals also use the name of big companies and like Coke, Nestle, or even giant automobile companies like BMW and Mercedes, and send out e-mails through untraceable accounts, claiming some kind of award or lottery. Who hasn’t received such SMS texts or e-mails announcing that “you are a winner” of a huge sum of money and fancy cars? Many, with the hope of finding an unsolicited treasure, go on to pay the “required” sum in order to claim the price, never to see that money ever again.

With such crimes increasing, it is the responsibility of internet users to wisely use the internet which can at times prove to be “devil in disguise”. Befriending strangers should be avoided at all costs. Even logging on to unpopular sites with no security should be kept away from. Especially, when online “friends” or random users seek to engage in any kind of business and financial transactions, the best thing is to ignore it.

Cyber crime is one of the biggest threat in this age of technology and till a concrete answer is not found by the experts and the government does not chart out some kind of liability in these cases, it is for the user to wisely sow the benefits of the internet.

Pallavi Sharma

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