Online fraud and cyber crime is a growing concern for the citizens of Pune…
With several cases of forgery and cheating becoming apparent, citizens are now wary of dealing with travel operators they find online.
In a recent reported case, ‘a college student was duped of Rs 80,000 by an unidentified booking agent’ that he found through a search engine. A case under Sections 420 (punishment for cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code and Section 66(c) and 66(d) of Information Technology Act was registered, suggested reports.
A city-based couple was robbed off by a travel agent when they booked a honeymoon package from him. The couple who were set to take off for a trip after paying the full amount were denied travel tickets and any other documentation by the travel agent they found online.
Subsequently, the travel agent couldn’t be contacted on phone or email that he used to communicate to the customers.
“It is very normal for people to search the internet for any information or contact they want, but, authentication and credible results cannot be guaranteed from the web” says Priyanshi Arora, a social media manager.
“That said, the presence of every service on search engines makes it simpler for people to fall prey, since not everyone is an expert in gauging the authenticity of a service provider.
The best thing to do when there is a risk of monetary loss is to personally know the person or organisation or go through a registered party who is a trusted source.
“There are many popular travel sites that personalise your trips but having a personal connect, verification and registration under a genuine government body should be pointers when investing with them,” Arora adds.
Another couple, about to be conned by the travel agent smelt something fishy when the travel agent kept postponing their meeting in person and didn’t even provide his local office address.
“It was then that we sensed that he might be trying to cheat us. He kept asking for money to confirm the transaction before meeting in person. We even offered to pay in cash, in person, but he kept insisting on Paytm or bank transfer.
We later dropped the entire process with him and realised that he was just out to con people of their hard earned money, adds Shivraj Handa, a shopkeeper.
Explaining the increased threats in the city, Advocate Rajas Pingle, city based Cyber Law expert, says “Since Pune is a huge IT hotspot, the flow of business, financial, personal as well as sensitive personal information are at astonishing levels. Hence, it has become an ideal playground for the perpetrators.”
Pingle advises citizens who may become a victim of cybercrime to gather whatever information possible, including any evidence.
“They should then take that information along with a formal complaint and file it at the nearest police station or a Cyber Crime Cell in the city. The more diligently this is done, the better the chance of resolving the matter appropriately and in your favour” he adds.
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