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Cyber crime against women on the rise
[July 12, 2010]

Cyber crime against women on the rise

MUMBAI, Jul 13, 2010 (Hindustan Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- While social networking and micro-blogging sites are great tools to stay connected, they are also easy to misuse. And mostly, it's women who are the victims, say the cyber crime police.

An increasing number of women are approaching the cyber crime cell with complaints that fake profiles of them with obscene content have been posted on sites such as Facebook, Orkut and Twitter.

In 2009, the police received was 268 applications of fake profiles, obscene content and defamation, but only nine cases were registered.

They have received 160 applications till June 30 this year, but only six cases have been registered so far.

Though such incidents are on the rise, few victims are willing to register a case.

Explaining this, cyber security consultant Vijay Mukhi, who often works with the police in such cases, said victims are afraid to proceed with complaints as that could lead to exposure and social humiliation.

"Most victims want the obscene profiles deleted after which they are not interested in proceeding with complaints." "In the few cases we have solved, the accused has turned out to someone known or very close to the victim," Mukhi added. Bhimrao Sonawane, deputy commissioner of police (preventive), agreed: "Most complainants prefer withdrawing their applications once the offender has been traced. Also, it depends on the seriousness of the offence. While some put crude content, others upload morphed photos and in some cases the phone number of the victim." Often, victims are careless and tend to add strangers, even from other countries, on their sites. "Our police do not have jurisdiction in such cases, so often the case has to be closed after deleting the profile," Mukhi said.

To add to the problem, tracing the accused is tough as they create profiles from places to which they cannot be traced back, such as cyber cafes far from where they live, or unsecured wi-fi connections.

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