Hyderabad: On August 14, 2020, Telangana police arrested Panyala Raju at Mumbai Airport soon after he arrived from Saudi Arabia.

Hailing from the Jagtial district, the 27-year-old man was arrested for allegedly spreading false information about the health of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

In a Facebook post, he had claimed that KCR was infected with COVID 19. He said Gandhi hospital doctors have confirmed it. He also allegedly posted a photograph claiming that KCR has passed away.

This is one of the Fake News cases registered in Telangana in 2020.

According to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Telangana has contributed around 23 percent of cases of Fake News on Social Media in the country. Of the total of 563 cases registered in the country, around 135, the highest in the country, were reported in Telangana.

Around 112 cases of Fake News on Social Media were reported in Hyderabad, the highest among metropolitan cities in the country.

Online Banking Fraud, OTP Fraud

Amid the spate of Covid-enforced restrictions, the cybercrimes in Telangana have seen an uptick in 2020. Among the cyber crimes, the Online Banking Fraud and One Time Password (OTP) fraud in the state are the highest in the country.

Telangana has contributed around 35 percent of Online Banking Frauds. Similarly, around 48 percent of OTP Frauds were reported in Telangana. Out of 4,047 Online Banking Frauds in the country, Telangana reported 1,405 cases. Of the 1093 OTP Frauds in the country, Telangana contributed 525 cases. Around 1366 cases of Online Banking Fraud and 366 cases of OTP Fraud were registered in Hyderabad.

Overall, Telangana contributed 10 percent of cybercrimes in the country. Telangana recorded 2,691 cases in 2019. It jumped to 5,024 in 2020. Hyderabad alone reported 2553 cases.

Telangana has reported 306 cases of cybercrime offenses under the IT Act. Around 100 cases have been reported under Section 354D of IPC (Cyber Stalking/ Bullying of Women/ Children), around 710 cases under section 420(cheating), 21 cases under section 469 of IPC (Morphing images for indecent representation of women),

India recorded 50,035 cases of cybercrime in 2020. Nearly 578 cases of fake news were registered last year. In 2019, the country recorded 44,735 cases of cybercrime, while the figures stood at 27,248 in 2018. The rate of cybercrime (incidents per lakh population) also increased from 3.3 percent in 2019 to 3.7 percent in 2020, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

The year saw 4,047 cases of online banking fraud, 1,093 OTP frauds, and 1,194 credit/debit card frauds, while 2,160 cases related to ATMs were reported in 2020, the NCRB figures revealed.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with NewsMeter. An alumnus of the University of Hyderabad and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also a contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, consumer, health, human interest and data stories. You can follow Sumit on Twitter @sumitjha__

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