Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   14 November

Armenia police warn of growing cybercrime rate

YEREVAN, JUNE 12, ARMENPRESS. A 20-25% growth tendency is seen in the past years in the number of cybercrimes in Armenia.

Vahagn Harutyunyan, head of the anti-cybercrime department of the general department of the organized crime unit of Armenia’s police force, told ARMENPRESS the department uncovered 71 cases in 2017, with 68 criminal cases having been initiated.

Other department of the police have discovered 108 cases involving cyber security, with 105 criminal cases being initiated.

Harutyunyan says most of the cybercrimes which are committed in Armenia are being uncovered in the past two years.

He said that theft committed by using computer technology is the most widely committed cybercrime. “These are mainly bank transactions, theft from bank cards”, he said, adding that the criminals use social media to target unaware citizens and lure them into giving their banking details under the pretext of making a transaction, falsely identifying themselves as relatives.

The other widely committed cybercrime, according to the police official, is data theft, often involving Facebook or other social media networks.

In terms of distribution of pornography, Harutyunyan says such cases are very few.

He also pointed out the “Love Parcel” – a cybercrime involving men who are targeting unaware women online, pretending to be rich individuals seeking romance. Then, the men tell the women they need their details to send valuable gifts, while their accomplices contact the women, pretend to be customs agents and notify that the parcel contains smuggled goods. And then, the women are told they need to pay 1500$ in fines in order to get the parcel, and the initial caller asks his victims to make the payment because he is out of reach, somewhere on a yacht.

He also mentioned another case when an elderly woman was lured into an online casino platform, which was actually a fake casino used to embezzle money. The woman had transferred 300,000 dollars to the fake casino.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan


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