I got a call from a fake NGO today. They asked for money for a child’s treatment. They have a Facebook Page. They have a LinkedIn account. They claim to be registered but they are not.
Since I had a lot of free time, I decided to call Delhi Police’s Cyber Crime Cell and report the matter. Several websites list +91-11-4362203 and +91-11-4392424 as Cyber crime’s number. These seven digit landline numbers are obviously not correct. So, I called 100. The officer connected my call to enquiry. The officer handling enquiry calls asked me to call 011-23239077 or 8750871243. The landline number was not working and the mobile number belonged to somebody who had nothing to do with Delhi Police.
I tried to see how the “Online Complaint Lodging System for Economic and Cyber Offences” on Delhi Police’s website works. Tried to log in, but it does not work either.
So, I called 1090, the toll-free number that Delhi Police calls “Eyes and Ears”. Remember the radio ads, where Delhi police ask people to become their eyes and ears and help them stop crime? Yes, the same number.
The officer who picked up the phone seemed to be in a hurry. As soon as he heard me speaking (a woman’s voice), he asked me to call women cell. I explained that my complaint relates to cyber crime. So, he gave me 2 more numbers: 011-23348398 and 23746782. Call to the first number remained unanswered. When I dialed the second number, another officer picked up and told me it was a wrong number and the correct number for cyber crime is 011-23364421.
So, I dialed 011-23364421. The number was busy for quite some time. I kept calling. After 15 mins, the call got connected but nobody picked up.
In the meanwhile, I sent tweets to @CPDelhi @DelhiPolice. I received a standard reply: “@sbasu_in @CPDelhi Please report the matter at your local Police Station for necessary action.”
But, if you go to the police station, duty officers say, “Yaha se nahi hoga” or “you are not the sufferer so leave it”!
So, people, Delhi Police’s ‘eye and ear’ thing is a sham. You cannot provide them information on an impending crime. Half of the officers have no clue what cyber crime means or uses of social media. Half of them want to evade responsibility. So, Delhi Police will rather wait for the crime to happen than take action to avert it.
PS: They promised a 24X7 cyber crime helpline in July. 2016. It’s still not there.