Monday, June 17, 2024

Government working to protect Indian citizens from fraudulent international phone calls | India News

Government Collaboration to Block Overseas Spoof Calls Alleging Digital Arrests: Report

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) are joining forces to combat the surge of spoof calls coming from overseas. These deceptive calls often masquerade as official communications from agencies like the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), falsely alleging ‘digital arrests.’

In a collaborative effort, I4C is teaming up with Microsoft to address the misuse of logos belonging to law enforcement agencies, which scammers abroad frequently exploit to swindle money from unsuspecting Indian citizens, as per a report in the Economic Times.

Rajesh Kumar, the chief executive of I4C, revealed that many instances have emerged where scammers, impersonating as police or government officials, demand payments for alleged digital arrests.

“The victim receives a call from an Indian number, but it is actually a spoofed call from scammers using identities such as the CBI, RBI, NIA, or banks. Thousands of Skype IDs have been created to mimic Indian agencies. I4C has already reported 1,500 suspect Skype IDs to Microsoft,” Kumar stated.

The fraudulent tactics employed in these ‘digital arrests’ involve tactics such as international fund transfers, physical gold transactions, cryptocurrency exchanges, and ATM withdrawals.

To combat this rising threat, citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious phone numbers, WhatsApp profiles, or URLs on the cybercrime portal. By cross-referencing these with the ‘suspect repository data,’ individuals can help in identifying and preventing such fraudulent activities.

Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an advisory on digital arrests, highlighting the deceptive practices used by fraudsters, including setting up fake police stations and government offices, complete with uniforms, to lend credence to their schemes.

The advisory warned of scenarios where individuals are falsely implicated in criminal activities or accidents, leading to demands for payments to influence the outcome of the fabricated ‘cases.’ These organized online scams are reportedly orchestrated by cross-border criminal syndicates.

In response, the I4C is actively involved in blocking SIM cards, mobile devices, and mule accounts used by these fraudsters to perpetrate their schemes. Through these collaborative efforts, the Indian authorities are striving to protect citizens from falling victim to these sophisticated cybercrimes.

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