a year ago

Cyber crimes through apps see a substantial hike

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New types of cyber crimes through apps have seen a substantial hike in the country in one year with the number of child victims on the internet rising alarmingly, according to a latest survey report.

Crimes like cheating people with fake job promises, running fraudulent activities and maintaining illegal and suspicious lending through apps saw 281.76 per cent hike in a year, said the report, prepared by Cyber Crime Awareness Foundation (CCA Foundation), revealed at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity in the capital's Segunbagicha on Saturday.

Such crimes soared to 6.91 per cent in 2023 from 1.81 per cent in 2022, it said.

Moreover, about 14.64 per cent of victims were cheated while buying products online, the report stated.

About 75 per cent of victims are reported as youth - between 18 and 30 years of age, revealed the survey, titled 'Cyber Crime Trends in Bangladesh'.

Nearly 50.21 per cent of the victims of cyber attacks in the country are victims of online bullying in various ways - however, this crime stood at 59.90 per cent in 2022, the report showed.

Cyber Crime Awareness Foundation (CCAF) conducted the survey. The Foundation convener Kazi Mustafiz chaired the function. Sarna Saha, one of the team members of the study, presented the study findings.

Md Nasim Parvez, director general (system & services) of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), and Mushfiqur Rahman, member of the National Committee of Cyber Security Awareness, Bangladesh (NCCA,B), among others, spoke as panellists at the event.

A total of 217 cyber-crime victims were interviewed to prepare the report. In addition, the report presented statistical observations for the period from 2015 to March, 2023 in several graphs.

As per the report, the number of child victims on the internet is steadily increasing - this has been termed 'alarming'. In the survey, nearly 14.82 per cent of victims were below 18 years of age - 140.87 per cent more than in the survey conducted in 2018.

Among them, children are the most (more than 2.0 per cent) victims of propaganda on social media platforms, including Facebook.

Among victims of age-specific crime patterns, young people (18-30 years) are the highest (more than 12 per cent) victims of similar crimes, according to the report.

Similar to the survey-2022, women are the most victims of cyber crime in gender-wise comparisons. Among them, 25.18 per cent of the victims of ID hacking on various social media, including Facebook, are found to be women.

Moreover, around 55 per cent of the victims do not know about the existing information technology laws of the country. Over the past five years, on an average, nearly half of the victims are found to be unaware of the laws.

The report found that around 80 per cent of cyber crime victims avoid filing complaints to the law enforcement agencies. The trend of filing such complaints to law enforcement is declining drastically. The rate was about 61 per cent in 2018.

In 2023, the highest rate of reasons for not seeking legal action was that 24 per cent of victims did not know how, where, and to whom to complain, the survey said. Second, some 20 per cent wanted to keep it a secret while some 18 per cent of victims reported that they may face harassment if they pursue legal actions.

Again, 80 per cent of victims expressed their dissatisfaction with the existing legal system for such remedy.

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