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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Government cracking down on international spoof calls scamming Indians

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In Short:

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and the Department of Telecom are working to stop spoof calls from overseas claiming digital arrests by Indian law enforcement agencies. Scamsters use Indian agency logos to extort money from citizens. Fraudsters impersonate police or agencies like CBI, RBI, NIA, and banks. They demand money for fake cases or illegally sending parcels. MHA warns of online scams and urges citizens to report fraudulent activities on the cybercrime website.

Efforts to Block Spoof Calls and Misuse of Logos by Scamsters

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and the Department of Telecom (DoT) are collaborating to prevent spoof calls originating from outside India, which falsely claim digital arrests by law enforcement agencies like the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) or Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Partnership with Microsoft

Additionally, the I4C is partnering with Microsoft to address the misuse of logos of these enforcement agencies by scamsters based abroad, who use them to extort money from Indian citizens.

The CEO of I4C, Rajesh Kumar, highlighted multiple cases where individuals, pretending to be law enforcement personnel, engage in digital arrests and extort money from victims. These scammers often masquerade as officials from agencies like CBI, RBI, NIA, or banks, using call spoofing tactics and creating fake Skype IDs.

The channels of money extortion during these digital arrests typically involve international fund transfers, physical gold, cryptocurrency, and ATM withdrawals.

Encouraging Citizen Reporting

Kumar urged citizens to report fraudulent phone numbers, WhatsApp identities, and URLs related to cybercrime on the I4C website, emphasizing the importance of reporting any suspicious activity.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recently issued an advisory on digital arrests, highlighting the tactics used by fraudsters who impersonate police stations and government offices to deceive victims. They often claim that victims are involved in illegal activities or have close contacts in custody, demanding money to avoid repercussions.

In response, I4C is aiding in the blocking of SIM cards, mobile devices, and mule accounts used by these fraudsters, aiming to curb their operations.

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