Wednesday, June 23

Kolkata Police launches WhatsApp helpline to fight cyber crime

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Multiple steps by Kolkata Police to try and stop the cyber and elderly citizen-related crimes have helped raise general awareness but cops still feel that there is scope to improve grievance redress mechanism so that it works on real-time basis.

At least one division – Behala – has now launched a specific police station with a WhatsApp contact number where residents of the area can seek immediate help once they fall prey to cyber or petty crime.

The police stations have earmarked a tab – to be managed by a trained cop where residents will get ready answers – where to go, what to do and how to lodge a complaint. These WhatsApp number will also help cops contact respective banks and try and intervene before cheats can remove the money from accounts and wallets.

The WhatsApp message service is being seen as an extension of the more widely known Raksha Kavach system, launched by a detective department that aims to teach citizens how to protect themselves from cyber criminals, said sources. The Raksha Kavach programme has already reached some of the biggest complexes of the city and has been instrumental in ensuring that the residents report even those unsuccessful attempts by cyber crooks.

“Besides visiting each household and telling them about the dangers of cyber crimes, we are informing them of this WhatsApp number. Our main concern naturally lies with the elderly with whom we are spending more time and even helping them install the app and save the number. During Covid times, they need not come to the police station too. They can send their queries through this Whatsapp number,” said a southwest division officer.

At Sarsuna police station alone, four police teams have already reached 1,500 households with whom they have shared the WhatsApp No.. DC (Behala) Syed Waquar Raza said that each police station in the division has broken down the police station into multiple beats and been campaigning on cyber security and local security issues.

Among the 20-point guidelines on use of the internet are the correct method to use Google Chrome, the necessity of not paying up on online sale platforms until satisfied with the product, and not to open insecure links.  

Source: Times of India

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