Cyber crime
Indian government setting up war room to tackle cyber terror activities, Picture: Representational ImageReuters

Data analysis has revealed that of the 942 people arrested in Maharashtra for cyber crimes 100 were known to the victim as neighbours or relatives, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2014 report.

Maharashtra has been tagged as the state second most to be affected by cybercrime, after Uttar Pradesh.

In Maharashtram, 3,049 people were arrested for cyber crime in 2010-2014. Of the 942 people arrested, 100 were those who were known to the victim as friends or relatives, 91 were students, 81 were perverts and 55 were religious persons.

The report also revealed that the rate of cyber crime has increased by 295% in Mumbai, between 2010-14. While there were 60 arrests in 2010, 89 in 2011, 42 in 2012, 115 in 2013, 2014 recorded 177 arrests.

"Mumbai being the financial capital of the country, the focus of cyber criminals is greater here. The student community and technical colleges in Maharashtra add to this," said advocate and cyber expert Prashant Mali adding that the reporting structure is well-developed in the city.

"Cyber crimes are rapidly increasing due to extensive use of the internet and IT-enabled services," said Additional Commissioner of Police (crime), Mumbai Police, K M M Prasanna.

"Most offences were for offensive messages through communication services under Section 66A (IT Act), which has now been scrapped by the Supreme Court. These statistics may not hold true for the future," said cyber lawyer Vicky Shah, also noting that use of technology is growing in the state.

"Maharashtra has the most number of internet users in the country. This explains the higher incidence of cyber crime. Also, most financial institutions are based in Mumbai, so cyber frauds will be reported by the head office," said cyber crime expert Vijay Mukhi.

Telangana followed Maharashtra in terms of cyber crimes with 429 arrests, replacing Kerala. Of the arrests made nationwide, 50% belonged to the 30-45 age group, while more than 37% were in the 18-30 group.