For the thousands suffering from the Covid crisis, there is another fearsome battle that they confront with an additional deadly virus, also starting with the letter ‘C’: cyber criminals.
The Delhi Police has been getting several complaints about Covid-19 patients being conned by cybercriminals. Already involved in battling the Covid tragedy, the police force tweeted:
"#DELHIPOLICE ACTION ON COVID CHEATS | Did someone #cheat you in name of providing oxygen/medicine/hosp bed/remdesivir etc? U paid online & its gone? 1. Report on #155260 so we can stop ur money frm reaching cheat. 2. Report on http://cybercrime.gov.in 3. Call4 asst #01123469900.”
S.N. Shrivastava, the Delhi police commissioner, asked his officers to draw up a comprehensive strategy to tackle the menace of cyber criminals exploiting the situation. The Cyber Prevention Awareness & Detection Centre (CyPAD) of its cybercrime unit is the nodal point for interacting with the various agencies and government departments to tackle the crime.
CyPAD will investigate the online frauds relating to the supply of oxygen and medicines. Many cyber criminals have been conning needy people, urging them to transfer funds to their accounts on the promise of providing them these critical items during the crisis. However, they just disappear after the funds are transferred to their accounts.
Meanwhile, Shrivastava has also asked the force personnel to avail facilities at Covid care centres in Shahdara and Rohini, which are under-utilized. Battling the Covid crisis in the capital, the Delhi police has also taken a big hit with many of its personnel getting infected with Covid. According to official figures, over 3,000 police personnel are infected and more than 40 have died.