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Delhi’s DCP of cybercrime replies to tweets on shopping fraud, gives tips to be cyber-smart

Delhi DCP, Cybercrime, Anyesh Roy says people need to be especially wary of obscure sites offering deep discounts on goods.

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New Delhi: Want tips on how to shop online and dodge dubious websites? Delhi’s deputy commissioner of police (DCP), cybercrime, put out several tweets advising people on how not to get duped.

His posts, which went up Wednesday morning, were in response to a Twitter user who had complained of having been cheated by a website offering discounts on shoes.

The account, Sharp Eye, tagged the DCP (Cybercrime) in its post and said the website merajuta.com had cheated him and many others by closing down suddenly after accepting payments for orders.

The Delhi Cybercrime Cell promptly responded and said it was looking into the matter. The DCP also warned people that such fraudulent sites not only cheat people of their money but also of their credit card details.


Also read: Fraud and sexual exploitation prime motives for cyber crimes in country: NCRB data


What to watch out for while online shopping

The cybercrime branch gave a few guidelines on how to shop safely online. These included opting for cash on delivery for payments, checking reviews and also checking website credentials.

It also urged the user to file a complaint on the cybercrime reporting portal (https://cybercrime.gov.in).

Speaking to ThePrint, Delhi’s DCP Cybercrime Anyesh Roy said once a complaint is registered on the portal’s website, the matter is forwarded to the district cyber crime branch to conduct investigation.

The police investigation looks to identify websites which have cheated users, the people operating them, what modes of payment are used and who are the recipients of the payments, he said.

Talking about how such scams operate, Roy said most fraudulent sites lure people by offering huge discounts.

“This takes place due to the reckless behaviour of people. Prima facie, if someone sees discounts being offered, such as upto 80-90 per cent, then they should be suspicious of it. And not fall into the trap,” he said.

Roy also said such scams usually use non-essential and luxury items as bait and not essential items, and so this isn’t a phenomenon specific to the lockdown.


Also read: Add to cart? How Amazon rigs its shopping algorithm


Instagram post used as gateway to crime

ThePrint reached out to the person behind the handle, Sharp Eye. His real name is Raman Garg, a 31-year-old working in the Delhi government’s labour department.

Garg said he was surfing Instagram when he saw an advertisement for imported shoes by a handle named ‘merajuta‘. The items were prices at Rs 449.

“I usually shop on either Amazon or Flipkart. I have shopped from Instagram once before and there were no problems. This is the first time something like this has happened to me,” Garg said.

He said he ordered the shoes on 19 May and got a confirmation of the order five days later, on 24 May, which said his package would be delivered soon.

He did not receive any communication afterwards, but assumed that delivery was being delayed due to the lockdown. When he still didn’t receive his shoes three days later, he sent emails to the ID given on the website, but did not receive a response.

Finally, on 15 June, Garg looked up the website and the Instagram handle, only to find that the Instagram account had been deactivated and the website no longer existed.

He has now filed a complaint on the Delhi Police Cybercrime website.

“I hope this matter gets resolved soon. I will definitely be a lot more careful while online shopping henceforth,” he said.


Also read: Instagram to help creators profit directly from videos, in direct competition with YouTube


 

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