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Cyber crime helpline: Over 100 women complain against online harassment in a month

By Numan Wahab
March 10, 2020

LAHORE: Just in a month of its inception Cyber Crime 24/7, helpline of Federal Investigation Agency, more than 100 women have complained against online harassing, blackmailing and defamation, The News has learnt.

More than three complaints per day are being received by the FIA from women of different cities and abroad through the helpline. It is pertinent to mention that Cyber Crime 24/7 helpline 9911 was established in January, 2020, under the directions of FIA Director General Wajid Zia. The data collected from cyber crime wing of FIA shows that 787 complaints were made through the Helpline during the month of February, 2020. Majority of complaints pertaining to financial frauds, hacking, frauds related to online jobs and online shopping, pornography, blackmailing, blasphemous contents, defamation, fake face book profiles, harassment and most common of the all unauthorised access were registered.

Moreover, 13 percent women contacted through helpline and registered their complaints; 2 percent overseas Pakistanis also registered their complaints. Majority of calls were made from Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Abbottabad.

Cyber Crime Wing Lahore Deputy Director Sajjad Mustafa while talking to The News said that starting a helpline for cybercrime was a very appreciable step taken by the FIA DG. He said helpline was providing an easy and responsive facility for the general public to address their grievances and provide professional level assistance regarding the Cyber Crime related issues. He said the agency keeps the secrecy of female complainants intact adding that even the FIA staff is not allowed to copy the data related to harassment. He said if any official of FIA did so the same case would be registered against him as he would be the accused of the same crime. However, Sajjad advised users of digital space to use it carefully saying that people should avoid filming their private moments on cell phones and other devices.

In personal relations, women should be cautious about sending their private pictures and videos, Sajjad added. He said that when a partner shares personal data with other person then such data enters digital space and anything could happen to that data there.

Sajjad said that online complaint registration fora of the FIA provided opportunity to users for in-time complaint registration. In case if an account of a user is hacked and misused but in-time complaint registration could help user from getting into a complicated situation.