As the cyber world unveils websites that let you live a ‘second life’, fake identities and identity thefts are fast emerging a menace giving spurt to hate mails and even serious crimes.
Identity theft remains unrecognised by many Indians, but many may already be becoming targets even without realising it, experts say.
One of the fastest growing crimes in the developed nations like United States, it is spreading in developing economies too. According to a website that monitors cyber crimes, in 2006, identity theft complaints made up thirty seven per cent (37%) of all fraud complaints.
With extensive use of social networking sites in India, the young population chatting for hours, however is unaware of the risks involved. Sharing personal information on social networking sites like Orkut, Tagged, hi5, etc. can be hazardous. The delinquents will have no difficulty in using someone’s personal information for their vested interest, cyber experts say.
There has been number of cases reported in the country where the people were cheated after sharing their personal information on Internet. Latest among them is one of a youth from Mumbai who was murdered, after pals on the net abducted and then killed him, having won his confidence through the network chatting.
“People discuss sex, try to find a dating partner or indulge in ‘cyber romance,’ falling prey to social networking sites. As a result, most of them undergo emotional abuses and have long lasting psychological effects. At least ten victims visits my clinic everyday seeking counselling on ‘abuses’ they had experienced on vast net-world,” says Dr Roma Kumar, Clinical Psychologist with Sri Ganga Ram Hospital.
“Youngsters, mostly school goers are unaware of the risk involved in sharing personal details on Internet. Some do it for fun rest to explore answers to their queries. But most of them later suffer owing to ignorance and lack of information,” she says.
“We receive 10-20 cases of identity thefts mainly on cyberfrauds monthly. The cases of cyber-crimes are increasing in the country,” says Sanjay Singh, CEO of Indian Detective Agency.
“We get number of inquiries asking us for the tips to protect against identity theft,” he adds.
“Once I got a call from a person asking me about legal proceedings pertinent to cyber crimes. He was actually duped by an imposter who posed herself as a Bollywood actress and asked him some money citing personal reasons and said that she (Imposter) would marry him, if he agrees to pay the asked amount. That person got carried away and deposited money in the bank account given to him. Later, as obvious, it was found to be a cyber fraud and he was robbed off with his money”, says G Venkatesh Rao, a Supreme Court lawyer.
“People should be careful while using networking sites. They should avoid using very personal information like mobile number, credit card and bank account detail, date of birth to avoid identity theft,” says Rao.
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Courtesy : Financial Express