According to Dr Ahmed, the FIA Sindh Zone Cybercrime Circle received around 2,000 complaints in the 2017 which could be classified into three major categories. Around 76% cases were related to blackmailing, harassment and defamation through social media, 14% cases to financial fraud and 5% cases to threatening calls, the officer said, adding that the remaining cases were related to email hacking and spoofing.
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“Many businesses takes place in the virtual world now. Social media has surpassed any other form of dialogue as it is being used for diverse purposes of communication,” Dr Ahmed said. He added that there were over 50 million broadband subscribers in Pakistan and the number of mobile phone users was as high as 150 million. “The [information technology] and virtual space are also being used by criminal elements in committing cybercrimes.”
This is the first time a web portal is being initiated for registeration of specific complaints, the officer said. “People living anywhere in Sindh can lodge their complaints to us on our website [www.fiacybercrimesindh.com.pk]. We think people should not remain silent over cybercrimes and should come forward to register complaints,” Dr Ahmed said, adding that the online complaint system was very easy and could prove beneficial in the elimination of cybercrimes and provision of justice to the victims of cybercrimes.
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Majority of the victims of cybercrime were young girls, women and children, the officer said, adding that through the website they would easily register their complaints without getting noticed.
“The format to lodge complaint is user-friendly and available in English, Urdu and Sindhi,” Dr Ahmed informed the media. He added that the agency would also accept complaints not lodged directly by the victims but through their relatives or friends on their behalf.