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MHA warns against cyber criminals impersonating government officials

May 14, 2024 6:02 PM IST

RBI | MHA | CBI | Cyber Crimes | NCB

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a cautionary advisory regarding cyber criminals who are adopting deceptive tactics such as ‘blackmail’ and ‘digital arrest’, posing as officers from various government agencies. These fraudulent individuals are reported to be impersonating officials from agencies like the NCB, CBI, RBI, as well as state and Union Territory Police, among others.

According to the MHA, numerous complaints have been lodged on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP) regarding instances of intimidation, blackmail, extortion, and what they term as “digital arrests”. In these cases, cyber criminals contact potential victims and falsely inform them about parcels containing illegal goods, drugs, or contraband items, often claiming the victim as the intended recipient.

In some scenarios, these fraudsters even go as far as to falsely claim that a family member or acquaintance of the victim has been implicated in a crime or accident and is currently in their custody. Subsequently, they demand a sum of money from the victim to resolve the fabricated situation.

The MHA highlighted that these criminals may go to great lengths to appear genuine, using studios resembling police stations and government offices, and even donning uniforms during their interactions with victims.

This form of organized online economic crime is reportedly orchestrated by cross-border crime syndicates, according to the Ministry. In response, the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), under the MHA, is actively coordinating efforts to combat cybercrime in the country.

The MHA emphasized its collaboration with other ministries, agencies, and organizations like the RBI to counter such fraudulent activities. Efforts include blocking Skype IDs and SIM cards associated with these criminals, as well as issuing alerts and providing technical support to law enforcement authorities.

Citizens are urged to remain vigilant and raise awareness about these fraudulent schemes. In case of receiving suspicious calls or messages, individuals are advised to report the incident promptly to the cybercrime helpline number 1930 or visit www.cybercrime.gov.in for assistance.

 

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