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Over ₹10,300 crore siphoned off by cyber criminals since April 2021: I4C | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Over ₹10,300 crore were siphoned off from the country by cybercriminals since April 1, 2021, of which agencies managed to successfully block around ₹1,127 crore. representative image
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Over ₹10,300 crore were siphoned off from the country by cybercriminals since April 1, 2021, of which agencies managed to successfully block around ₹1,127 crore in the country, Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) said Wednesday.

In a media interaction, I4C CEO Rajesh Kumar said that more than 5,000 complaints of cyber crime are being reported on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) of which 40-50 per cent are based on frauds committed by gangs operating from China and “pockets of Cambodia and Myanmar”.

He said he did not mean “nation-State” are running the scams but “gangs” operating from these countries are behind the cyber crimes. “We have pockets of Cambodia and Myanmar. We are seeing Chinese apps. Who is denying?” Mr. Kumar said in response to a question.

He said aggrieved persons can approach 1930 call centre to register their complaints and banks can block the money if call is made within and hour of the fraud. Around 263 banks and financial institutions including National Payments Corporation of India that has developed UPI system are linked to the helpline.

Over 4.52 lakh cyber crime cases were reported on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) in 2021, which rose by 113.7 per cent in 2022, with 9.66 lakh cases being reported on the portal, Rajesh Kumar told reporters.

I4C is a body established by the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide a framework and eco-system for law-enforcement agencies for dealing with Cybercrime in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.

Mr. Kumar said over 15.56 lakh cases were reported on NCRP in 2023, translating into 129 cyber crime cases reported per lakh population, which shows a “deceleration” of growth rate to 60.9 per cent as compared to 2022.

Mr. Kumar said, “₹10,319 crore has been reportedly lost in India from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023… We have managed to block ₹1127 crore, of which 9-10 per cent has been restored in the accounts of the victims.”

Citing difficulties in restoring amounts to the accounts of victims, Kumar said the government is framing new Standard Operating Procedures, which are likely to be released soon, to make it easier for victims to claim their money.

Right now, a victim has to get a court order to get their money back with states like Gujarat and Karnataka leading the way where people are approaching Lok Adalats and magistrates to get their money.

Highlighting trends of cyber criminals, Kumar said regions near Delhi are using Sextortion, online booking, OLX-related crimes to trick the victims.

Gangs operating from Jharkhand, etc, are using KYC expiry, Anrdroid banking Malware-type online scams to siphon off money from gullible individuals.

He said other major cyber crimes include duping people of their money using investment applications and websites offering part-time jobs and Ponzi schemes, illegal lending applications and customer care centres.

There were also cases of Android malware fraud by seeking OTPs to take control of victims’ systems, impersonation by taking over social media accounts and sextortion, he said.

Listing recent successes against cyber criminals, Kumar said the Indian agency managed to thwart a major cyber attack targeting the G-20 website.

Every minute 66 lakh hits were made using bots through a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack to disable it by flooding it with hits.

Another success was when Indian agencies managed to bring back citizens from Myanmar, where they were taken in the lure of employment opportunities and held back against their will to commit cyber frauds across the globe, they said.

Recently, a new software, ‘Pratibimb’, has been made accessible to state police forces on a project level that will enable them to locate cybercriminals operating in their area.

The use of this software, coupled with quick reaction, has ensured a massive reduction in cyber criminals operating from Jharkhand’s Deoghar and Jamtara areas.

“The software gives the location of origin of the call, jurisdictional police officer takes action on that along with this information about the point of sale of SIM.

“Police officers in Jamtara and Deoghar are taking action on such information, which has resulted in 454 arrests last month,” Mr. Kumar said.

He said over 2.95 lakh SIM cards, 2,810 websites, 595 mobile applications and 46,229 IMEI number have been blocked on the basis of complaints received.

Kumar said most of the SIMs used by cyber criminals were issued from Assam, West Bengal and Odisha which have emerged as hotspots for procuring SIMs for such activities.


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