Punjab Police has set up a state level Crime Branch in February 2011 which has a well-equipped Cyber Crime Investigation Cell which exclusively deals with the cases of cyber crime. Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh has been appointed the first SSP of the Crime Branch who has single-handedly solved a number of sensitive cases of cyber crime while posted in Amritsar. He was later on promoted as Deputy Inspector General of Police and is heading the Cyber Crime Cell of Punjab Police. Cyber Crime Investigation Cell consists of well-equipped Cyber Lab and also has a notified cyber crime police station with the jurisdiction of the entire state of Punjab where any kind of FIR can be registered under various provisions of IT Act and related laws.
This cell is located at SAS Nagar, Mohali. People from any part of Punjab can get their FIR registered in this police station by visiting there or sending their complaints through e-mail (ssp.cyber-pb@ nic.in). People can lodge complaints related with data theft, e-mail travel, e-mail threat, extortion and cheating through internet, bank and credit card frauds, hacking, phishing etc.
Cyber Crime Investigation Cell is an important wing of the Crime Branch which is headed by an officer of the rank of DIG who is assisted by a number of officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Inspector and Sub-Inspectors. It has various sub-units for smooth functioning of the cell. This Cell will function under the supervision of ADGP Crime under overall control and supervision of DGP Punjab.
- Investigation Unit: It comprises of investigating officers of various ranks. As per IT Act, an officer not below the rank of Inspector can investigate cyber offences. [Section 78]
- Cyber Lab: There are cyber laboratories functioning in this cell to assist the investigating officers in the investigation process. The lab has facilities to retrieve deleted data, cell phone forensic, email tracking etc.
- Police Station: There is a police station notified under this cell where FIR can be registered related with cyber offences. The jurisdiction of the police station is entire state of Punjab.
- Besides, this cell can outsource services of experts and expert agencies as per need.
Objects and Functions
- To register and investigate the cases of cyber crime.
- To assist the district police in the investigation of such cases.
- To provide first hand training to the police officers working in various districts of Punjab.
- To create awareness among the common masses regarding cyber crime
What to report?
- Data Theft
- Cyber Stalking
- Virus attack
- Web Pornography
- E-mail threat
- Obscene E-mails
- Credit card frauds
- Internet frauds
- Internet lottery fraud
- Facebook related abuse, etc.
How to report?
A complainant can visit the Cyber Crime Cell at Mohali (Phase IV) to lodge his or her FIR.
One can send written complaint on the following address:
Complaints can be lodged by sending e-mail on the following e-mail ID:
Youngsters getting even in cyber world
The Hindustan Times, Chandigarh (09 August 2011
Shailee Dogra [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Youngsters have found a new tool in social networking sites to get even with their estranged lovers, friends and colleagues.
The cyber crime wing of the Punjab Police have received more than 25 complaints regarding creation of fake and obscene profiles on Facebook a popular social networking site.
In her complaint to the cyber crime cell of the police, a married woman said her obscene profile was created on a social networking site. The reason, she cites, is a dispute going on in the family.
A similar complaint was received from a man, who requested that the profile of his married sister living abroad should be blocked. He said his sister had been linked up with his friend through morphed pictures.
In another complaint, a girl accused her colleague -with whom once she was friends with of sending obscene messages after creating her fake profile on the social networking site.
“We are receiving increasing number of complaints, wherein fake profiles have been created on Facebook. There have been incidences where ex-boyfriend of a girl or estranged husband have tried to malign their former partners out of sheer jealousy,“ said Cyber crime wing’s Senior Superintendent of Police Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh.
These complaints reveal it’s mostly college girls or office going women who were subjected to humiliation through social networking sites after they fell apart from their friends or colleagues. Many a times, hurt by rejection or by a broken relationship boys have created obscene profiles to malign the image of girls.
“Youngsters feel that if you don’t have a Facebook account you are old-fashioned. Thus more and more of the younger lot is logging on to social networking sites without taking adequate measures to secure their personal details, which are posted online and can be assessed easily,“ added Singh.
He said having most friends on Facebook is the latest fad.
Youngsters do not realise that they are becoming more susceptible to such cyber crime, where anyone can use there personal information and misuse it, he said.
The police officer advises people to exercise restraint while accepting online friend requests from strangers.
“You give them access to vital information. People are in the habit of posting personal information online, which should be avoided,“ the SSP said.
Internet Lottery Fraud detected
Punjab Newsline Network
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
CHANDIGARH: The cyber wing of Punjab Crime Branch has busted an international racket of internet lottery fraud and arrested two persons in this connection. The persons were identified as Ibne Hasan of Muzzaffarnagar (UP) and Nauman Ali of Roorkee (Uttarakhand). Both are on police remand for two days.
In this case, a complaint was made by Abhishek, a Mohali resident who received an SMS that he has won a lottery of Rs 25 lakhs and after that he received phone calls to deposit Rupees 1,25,000/ as a clearance amount. The phone calls were originated from Dubai and Pakistan. Interestingly, Abhishek deposited the amount in the Bank Account indicated by the callers.
The investigation was carried out by a team of officials headed by Inspector Charanjeev Lamba of Cyber crime wing of Punjab State Crime Branch. The investigation was supervised by Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, SSP of State Crime Branch. During investigation it was found that the bank accounts were opened in Roorkee.
Further investigations are going on and efforts are being made to ascertain the identity of accused persons based in Dubai and Pakistan. The preliminary investigtion shows that money is being diverted to Pakistan.
This gang used to send SMS and e-mail to ignorant citizens that they have won lottery and they are asked to deposit certain amount as a clearance charge. People, out of ignorance, are being duped by such gangs.
The SSP advised the common citizens to ignore and delete such SMS and e-mails. However, they should inform the local police or Cyber Crime wing of Punjab Police at Mohali if they are insisted by someone to deposit certain amount. Complainant can be sent through e-mail on the IDs email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Man held for creating fake Facebook profile
Mohali, September 8
The cyber crime wing of the Punjab State Crime Branch, Mohali, has arrested a man for allegedly creating a fake profile of a woman from Sultanpur Lodhi, Kapurthala, on Facebook.
The arrested has been identified as Kanwaljit Singh (25), a Jagroan-based software professional. A case under Sections 66-A and 66-D of the IT Act and Sections 419 and 509 of the IPC has been registered against him.
Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, SSP State Crime Branch, said the motive behind the crime was to defame the complainant because of some personal enmity. The case was investigated by a team of officers headed by DSP Vibhor Kumar.
The fake profile displayed the woman’s phone number and other details. The profile said she was an organiser of a musical dance group and could be contacted on her mobile number and e-mail. The woman started receiving calls on the basis of her profile and she was forced to approach the crime branch.
The SSP advised to share minimum information on Facebook and verify the identity of the person before adding him or her in the friend list. He said one could complaint at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Man held for making fake Facebook profile
Daily Post Chandigarh
15 September 2011
A resident of Sector 44 in Chandigarh, Nitin Arora, was on Wednesday arrested for creating a fake Facebook account of a dental girl student, whom he allegedly loved but failed to strike up a relationship with. In his mid-20s, the accused is presently pursuing a web designing diploma, Punjab police crime branch senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said on Wednesday evening.
A BDS student at an institute in Mohali had, a few days back, approached the crime branch SSP with a complaint that somebody had created a fake account on the social networking site Facebook. “The accused added the victim’s colleagues in college and others as friends on her profile and used to chat with them on her behalf, using vulgar language,” she told the police. The crime branch zeroed in on Arora, in whose vicinity the victim used to live before shifting to Mohali recently.
“We found that Arora was interested in the girl but after she did not give any positive response to him, he developed a hatred for her,” Singh disclosed.
To settle the grudge, the accused allegedly created the profile and also uploaded her picture. He used to send obscene messages and posts through this fake profile, following which the victim started getting lewd calls and messages.
The crime branch has booked the accused under Sections 66-A and 66-D of the Information Technology Act and Sections 419 and 506 of the IPC and will produce them before a local court tomorrow.
SSP said there is a general tendency to make fake profiles, especially of girls. He advised the internet users to share minimum amount of information on the social networking sites and also to verify the identity of the person before adding him or her in the friend’s list.
The victims of cyber crime can make complaints online at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org graduate of Delhi University created the fake account of a girl dental student.
One held for making fake Facebook profile
Sep 15 2011, 01:07 hrs
The Cyber Crime Wing of Punjab State Crime Branch, Mohali, today arrested a Chandigarh resident who created a fake profile of a girl on the popular social networking site, Facebook. The accused has been identified as Nitin Arora, a 25-year-old resident of Sector 44, Chandigarh. He was working as a software professional in the city.
The girl (complainant) is a student of Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS) in a private college at Mohali. In her complaint to SSP (Crime Branch), the girl alleged that somebody had created a fake ID in her name on Facebook and was misusing it to tarnish her image.
The State Crime Branch registered a case under sections 66A, 66 D of the Information Technology Act and 419, 506 of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of the victim.
Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, SSP of State Crime Branch informed that the accused liked the girl who was earlier residing in the same locality, but the girl never responded to him. The boy created a profile in the name of the girl and uploaded her pictures.
He used to send obscene messages and posts through this fake profile. The case was investigated by a team of cyber wing officers.
Complaints can be made:email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fired, ex-staffer hacks Dell database, emails
SUCHET ATTRI Posted: Oct 05, 2011 at 0246 hrs
Chandigarh Fired for misconduct from Dell Computers, 25-year-old Deepak Sharma decided to deal directly. With a view to earning higher salary from another company, Sharma hacked into the Human Resource database of his previous employer and tripled his last drawn pay.
To authenticate his fraud, Sharma also hiked the salaries of a few other employees and gave them promotions by changing their profiles in the database and also sent emails from the account of the head of the HR department.
But Sharma’s tryst with hacking didn’t last long and he was caught in the web of the Cyber Crime wing of the Punjab Police. He has been booked under relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act and remanded in one-day police custody by a Mohali court.
Belonging to a lower middle-class family, Sharma, who has studied only up to plus two, was employed with Dell Computers for his computer expertise. He was sacked from the company on September 20 on charges of misconduct.
“Five days later, Deepak hacked the database and also the official mail account of HR Department. After making the necessary interpolations in the database, he shot off emails to the employees from the account of HR head announcing promotions and hike in salaries. This, Deepak did in order to benefit himself by tripling his salary so that he could bargain a higher salary in another company. Also, he sent emails to others announcing their promotions so that nobody suspects his mischief,” said SSP (Crime) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh.
Police officials said Deepak did this also to avenge his sacking. He was drawing a salary of around Rs 35,000 in Dell, which he tripled by hacking the email of the HR department.
The case had reached the police after a complaint suspecting hacking was lodged by Prabhakar Raju, a senior officer with Dell. Raju had alleged that somebody had made unauthorised access on the system and used internal mail ID of the Human Resource department.
Raju also alleged that he had noticed that some employees had been given promotion and undue salary hike by manipulating the system files. In this process, the salary of a particular employee was raised by 140 per cent which was unusual and undue. Many more such unauthorised transactions were made in the system.
“It has been established beyond doubt that Deepak committed all the manipulations. The police seized his home computer which was used to make these unauthorised changes. The motive behind this act was to take revenge for his removal from the company,” Vijay Pratap said.
The crime branch officials will now undertake the complete mapping of his computer and further investigations will decide whether there were any other accomplices.
The SSP has further advised the senior executives and managers of such companies to keep an eye on the conduct of employees and also not to share strategic information with “irresponsible” employees.
Online visa racket busted
Mohali, October 7
An Amritsar-based couple, Sukhdev Singh (44) and Gurmeet Kaur (35), have been arrested by the crime branch of the Punjab Police for cheating a woman on the pretext of arranging work permit for her in the USA. To dupe the unsuspecting woman, Harjeet Kaur of Kot Khasla village, Amritsar, the couple created a fake email ID of a non-existing person George Fernandis (claming him to be an American citizen) and sent work permit visa from the same fake email ID. The couple was arrested and a case was registered under Sections 66A, 66D of the Information Technology Act and Section 420, 465, 468, 471 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
SSP Crime Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said the online visa racket came to light when the couple duped the woman from Amritsar. They took Rs 20 lakh from her and sent the fake visa of the USA through e-mail email@example.com.
The accused were remanded in police custody after being produced before a Mohali court today. The couple has duped many other innocent people. The SSP said the couple used to collect huge money in the name of George Fernandis. They themselves sent e-mails on behalf of the said George Fernandis to deceive the people.
Cyber crime is a crime where a computer or network is the source, tool, target or place of crime. You cannot become a victim of cyber crime if you follow some tips.
Prevent misuse of your Banking information
Do not respond to the e-mails asking for your bank account number, user name, password, phone number, address etc. Hackers use this method to get access to your bank accounts claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise/ bank. This is commonly known as Phishing in the cyber world. See the following example:
“Dear Valued UTI Bank Customer,
UTI’s Internet Banking is hereby announcing the New Security Upgrade. We’ve upgraded our new SSL servers to serve our customers for a better and secure banking service against any fraudulent activities. Due to this recent upgrade, you are requested to provide your account information. For secure transaction also include your Transaction Id & password by following the reference below.
Regards…. UTI Customers Service UTI Bank LTD.
Beware of Phishing attacks
Phishing is a fraudulent attempt, usually made through email, phone calls, SMS etc seeking your personal and confidential information.
ONLINE BANKING: be safe and secure
Access your bank website only by typing the URL in the address bar of your browser.
Do not click on any links in any e-mail message to access the site.
State Bank never sends e-mail and embedded links asking you to update or verify personal, confidential and security details. NEVER RESPOND to such e-mails/phone calls/SMS if you receive.
Do not be lured if you receive an e-mail/SMS/phone call promising reward for providing your personal information or for updating your account details in the bank site.
Scan your computer regularly with Antivirus to ensure that the system is Virus/Trojan free.
Change your Internet Banking password at periodical intervals.
Always check the last log-in date and time in the post login page.
Avoid accessing Internet banking accounts from cyber cafes or shared PCs.
Fake lottery scam: Do not be a victim
Many times, you receive e-mails that you have won an international lottery. The fraudsters will then ask you to open a bank account and deposit certain amount as income tax deduction resultantly you may become a victim of fraud. Do not respond to such e-mails and simply delete them from your inbox. See the following example:
“We are pleased to inform you of the final announcement that you are one of our winners of the UNITED KINGDOM NATIONAL LOTTERY international Lottery programs. The online cyber lotto draws was conducted from an exclusive list of 21,000 e-mail addresses. After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address emerged as one of three winners in the category “A” with the following winning information: You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £1,000,000 (One Million pounds sterling).”
Do not respond to malicious and unknown e-mails
Sometimes you receive e-mails from some criminals/cheaters claiming to be your girl friend or old friend. They will attract you to furnish some secret information. You may become a victim of fraud and cheating. See the following example:
“Hello Dost, How are u. Remember me or not budhu! Well how can u forget friend like me. Actually I found your e-mail address in my contact list….. may be we chatted before
Sorry yaar these days work load is very high thats why 2 much busy.
you know marketing job is very tough. So you say something about you….
Howz life going on???? Tell me something about you. Waiting 4 your reply….. be in touch. Bye n Take Care………..Kanika”
Unknown E-mail attachments
Think before opening an attachment in your E-mail. It might contain viruses and cause damage to your computer and website.
Beware of IRC Crime
IRC crime is Internet Relay Chat. A number of servers provide facility of chat rooms in which people from any corner of the world can chat with each other. You might become a victim if you engage in chats with fraudsters. They engage professional girls for this purpose.
Use Strong Password
- Do not write the passwords of your e-mails, computers, online banking etc in your diary or anywhere visible to a stranger.
- Your Password should be alphanumeric and having special characters and should contain at least 8 characters.
- For each computer and service you use (e-mail, chatting, online purchasing, for example), you should have a password.
- Passwords should not be in the name of your spouse, children and in the form of your birthday etc.
Prevent misuse of your Credit Card
- Do not share your card verification value (CVV) with anyone. It can be can used for online purchases by anybody.
- Do not give details of your account following links from your e-mail. Visit the websites of the banks for any transaction or query. These days many scamsters ask your account etc through e-mail. For any kind of online payments, use only secure websites.
- Do not respond to any phone call asking for your credit card particulars.
- Report to the helpline/ bank if your credit card is misplaced or lost and get it cancelled immediately.
Prevent your child to become a victim
Your child may become a victim of pornography. These days you have internet ready computers or laptops in your home and many times you are not aware with the activities of your child on the net.
Cell phone safety
- Always buy a cell phone from a reputed shop and do not forget to take a printed bill.
- Note down your cell phone’s IMEI Number. Every cell phone has a unique identification number known as IMEI. It is written on the cell phone and can be seen after removing the battery. You can also know it by pressing *#06# in your cell phone.
- Do not store confidential data or secret password in your cell phone.
- Do not take photographs and videos of unknown people. You might fall into trouble.
- Report to the police in case your cell phone is stolen or missing otherwise someone may misuse your phone and you will be made liable for this.