Editorial > The Easy-Money-Trap ; Big Fat Fintech Frauds in India

The Easy-Money-Trap ; Big Fat Fintech Frauds in India

Dais Editorial | 27/05/2022 11:30 AM

Prajwal Sharma, 28, former bank employee, now unemployed due to Covid layoffs, has a sister to marry off. The pandemic seems to be over but he is still unemployed. Not left with much of his savings and her sister’s would-be in-laws are demanding a dowry of Rs. 10 lakhs. He turns to every bank possible for a personal loan. No one entertains him – CIBIL scores are not in his favour, he has no collateral or guarantor to show. One day, a friend suggested trying the CashCow app – said ’15 minute mein loan de dete hain yaar’     . . . and indeed, he installed the app, gave them all permissions they asked for (including his contacts and PAN and Aadhar and Photograph) and within 15 minutes – the amount was in his account. It wasn’t all he needed but it was a start. And then, as he gathered funds from other sources – the calls began. Not just from CashCow. But from apps he had never even heard about. And the recovery agent would speak in a language, which the police mostly reserve for history-sheeters. The calls were from both domestic and international numbers, to him and SURPRISINGLY to many of his friends, threatening to molest his sister, threatening to hack into his phone, threatening to ensure he kills himself if he doesn’t pay.


Rahul Vishwakarma,24, call-centre employee loves cricket and always thinks he could predict what would happen next in the game. He is talented that way too, yes – many times when he predicts a batsman would be caught out, he used to. When he predicted that CSK would win, they used to. When Kohli would make only a few runs in the match, he used to predict that right too. Then a friend advised – ‘Yaar, Rupiya Star me paisa kyu nahi lagata? Tu toh jeet bhi jaayega’ And guess what? he did. He ‘invested’ Rs. 10,000 to try his luck. And again, GUESS WHAT? That 10,000 became Rs.79,450 in no time. And then came the time to withdraw. This time, they said – He cannot withdraw till he deposits 13% of his winnings because GST and other service charges had to be paid. 

There are more, we are not done yet...

Avinash Jadhav, full-stack developer, working for a software company in Pune, always knew he had a real talent for Tech. He could not make it to MIT due to low finances at home but his dreams never took a slowdown. India was seeing a cryptocurrency awakening and Bitcoin was the new gold. A lot of his friends didn’t understand it but he did. This is the future – no fiat currency will survive and no one will listen to the Government anymore. And when he got a Whatsapp forward to invest in Bitcoin Mining  - he knew this was his opening to the World of quick money and early retirement. They also promised daily returns. But he was no fool. Everyone promises such returns via text message. He decided to start small – Rs. 2000 only. And the next day, saw Rs. 150 get credited to his account. He eventually got a (whopping gazillion sized ) return of 29113166888960%  in one day!!! He realized these guys were not joking. The chain went on till he had already invested Rs. 3.5 lakhs in the Bitcoin mining app’s account and had already received Rs. 55,000 as returns. He was still making 3387% per annum!!! Until one day – the Whatsapp group that had over 200 members was shut down and the  app was removed from the PlayStore due to ‘maintenance reasons’

You think they are foolish, don’t you? You think a Prajwal, a Rahul, an Avinash simply deserve to be conned. Because they are stupid, isn't it? Then would you be surprised to know that today, thousands of Prajwals across India are victims of such fraudulent apps that brazenly function right under the Government’s nose— On the PlayStore and AppStore!!!


Cash Cola, Rupee Pay, Asan King, Rupee Cash, Wow Rupee, Loan Cube, OB Cash, Rupee Plus, Clear loan and over 200+ such apps find their way to millions of Indians’ phones every day – giving them hope in troubled times, and then stripping them away of money, self-confidence and even respect when they call friends and family to recover ‘their’ money.

A victim we spoke to, received rape threats after she took a loan from RxxxxLoan, enough to push herself into a voluntary home arrest because she was afraid to step out. The app had leaked her data to other such apps, each of them set out recovery agents to go after the victim and extort money out of her - compounding the interest at a 34% p.a. On a daily basis. When she refused to comply, they threatened to circulate morphed pictures of her to her friends and family.

What a fantastic, vibrant Fintech Industry have we given birth to – Right?

And as if these weren’t enough, the DREAMY world of betting apps promoted by some of the Biggest Sports and Film stars of the country started catching the public fancy. Suddenly you saw your cab-wallah, your milkman and even your kid brother using their ‘predictive’ talents to bet their savings on apps like Bet11, Daybet, Winchest, Boxbet11 etc.  Why remain restricted to IPL – there are so many different sports in India and around the world to predict and bet on. And they did. Only to know – that sometimes the money flow is one way and when you go to redeem the winnings, a lot of such platforms may shut you out.

In 2016, when the Honorable Prime Minister came on TV to ban our Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 rupee notes, the junta went out of their way to support the bold move against black money. The country became almost fully banked with over 80% of Indians having a bank account. 

Of course, Digitization was necessary as the next step to breakthrough development that the BJP government is aiming for, for the nation. But the trouble that people had to go through during this time to change their notes to the new ones surely left a mark.

And that apart, one other thing happened. The common public began to believe that such instances of Government control over currency could become a frequent phenomenon.  This was also a time when Bitcoin AND other cryptocurrencies began to shout!! From 900 USD in 2016 to 19000 USD by 2017, Bitcoin was roaring in the unregulated Cryptocurrency markets. 

A perfect haven for those who wanted to relieve themselves from the shackles of the regulated financial markets and even more for those, who wanted to take advantage of the ones enamoured by the charms of this unseen, unheard of way of doubling money overnight, that too without the Government’s control on any of it. If the Government couldn’t control the making of it, how could they control the robbing of it – the Perfect Groundwork for the Perfect Crime.

It is little surprise then that apps like BitFunds, Bitcoin Miner, Cloud Wallet, Crypto Holic, Daily Bitcoin Rewards, MineBit Pro, took the country’s fancy as the Indian Government tip-toed around a basic Cryptocurrency law.

It was as if the scamsters knew the exact motivations, fears and deterrents of their victim audiences.

How do these frauds happen?

It is amazing how standardized these frauds typically are. Even though these look fairly innovative, the modus operandi for most of them is broadly the same. Let us  understand some of them but before that let us share what Cyber security Expert Mr Amey Naik had to say about his observations (Click to listen)

Now, let us understand the different types of methods these criminals are adopting to commit these frauds:

1. Vishing

Perhaps the most common type of cybercrime, scammers often impersonate banking or insurance officials from legitimate institutions and contact their targets to lure them into providing sensitive information, such as bank details, CVV numbers, OTP, PINs, credit card numbers, and passwords. They usually start with sharing the user’s name and birth details to win his trust and then manipulate them by citing emergencies such as the need to block an old account, to stop an unscrupulous transaction, to avoid a large penalty, or to avail an attractive discount on a short time offer. Then his data is used to hack into his accounts, leading to identity theft and financial loss. Listen to what this gentleman has to say, he reached out to us to share what he has gone through and is still going through. This could be any one of us tomorrow, listen to him (Click to listen)

2. Phishing

Fraudsters take this a notch up, by not limiting their shams to just contacting the targets. This time, they lay an elaborate plan of creating false websites that at first go appear extremely legitimate and then distribute the link via paid searches, social media, SMSs, and instant calling.

Unaware of the looming danger, users click these links without verifying the URL, thus giving away all their personal details stored on their devices. But one must not consider that those who commit such mistakes are foolish or non-literate. 

These scamming mechanisms have become so sophisticated that in one of the instances we came across during the course of this report, the victim lost Rs. 4 lacs just because his net banking username and password were leaked out. Flaws unearthed in our still-archaic banking systems showed that the funds can be deducted in some instances without an OTP or 2-factor authentication and bankers are aware of this gaping loophole.

3. Online Sales Platforms

Entrepreneurs with online businesses, this one is for them specifically. Fraudsters often pose as buyers on online platforms and express keen interest in the seller’s products. Most of the time, these cheats claim to be high-ranking government authorities or army officials to gain the sellers’ trust.

Instead of using usual modes of payment such as direct transfer, card payment, or cash on delivery, the fraudster uses the UPI app’s “request money” option and requests the seller to authorize it by entering the seller’s UPI PIN. And the moment the seller enters the PIN, money is deducted from their account!

4. SIM Swapping or SIM Cloning

Scammers often obtain a duplicate SIM for the registered mobile number linked to the user’s bank account by gaining access to the user’s original SIM card, making all the user’s banking details and transaction details available on their device via his SIM card.

5. Using screen-sharing/remote access

Fraudsters usually either trick their targets into downloading screen-sharing apps or access phone passwords to download these apps via which they can watch/control and gain access to private data and carry out unregulated transactions via the user’s Internet banking/payment apps.

6. QR Code Scam

In the era of technology, QR code scanning options are widely available on several payment apps such as Google Pay, Paytm, Phone Pay, etc., making e-payments smooth and hassle-free. Most people lack knowledge of the technicalities of how these QR codes function, thus falling into an unassuming trap.  Fraudsters often use sham QR codes that they share on various social media platforms that hack into the user’s phone post scanning, thus disclosing all banking details stored on the phone.

7. Scams via unregistered mobile apps

This is the Most Common Method of them all.

The scammer often begins by circulating a fake app link via a text, a WhatsApp message or an email that appears strikingly similar to another credible app on the Play Store/AppStore.

Unable to distinguish between the fake one from a legit app, the user ends up installing the app – different motivations, similar trapping. Could be a need or simply greed that could make even the most tech-savvy of users fall prey to such a temptation. “As soon as they upload their proof of identification, the app credits the amount to their bank account after deducting a processing fee as high as 30%. The term of loan tenor usually ranges from 7 to 15 days with usurious interest as high as 60-80 per cent ( compared to 22-25% from genuine lenders),” informs Mr Joginder Rana, Vice Chairman & MD, CASHe.

When installing the app, as a standard procedure again, it asks for personal details, phone number, email ID, references to friends and family, permissions to access images and contact details on the phone and since they are ‘financial’ apps, they also are bound to ask for the user’s photo, Pan card and Aadhar card. And the user unflinchingly provides it.

As the user gets more and more drawn into the app’s usage, more data gets collected and the noose around his neck gets tighter. And then, comes the pullback moment! This is the time when the user realizes that it's time for him/her to get up from the table and cash out. And THIS is the time he realizes – that this was the one thing that was never allowed. He was never allowed to leave.

For those who took a loan from one app, 15 different apps now have his data- his contacts, his photographs, his messages, his bank details, his Pan and Aadhar card and also perhaps an authentication to deduct his bank account at will. These apps in turn send out vicious recovery agents to get their money back from the user. The irony being, the user never borrowed from them. He had only borrowed from the first app. But who is to prove what? It’s their word against his.

Dais World team tried to connect with one of these frauds who were trying to exploit someone who had no idea how Cashcow got his Data and why are they even trying to recover a loan he has never taken, and you will be shaken to hear the details in the calls . .  here it is (Click to listen)

And they know that. So, they begin calling the user’s family, the user’s friends, exes, bosses, Facebook contacts, work colleagues to convince the user to pay them back.

A victim reached out to us to share the agony he is going through, he requested to stay unnamed and anonymous out of the ignominy he is already subjected to…. Here is what he could express to us . . listen to him… this could be you tomorrow. (Click to listen)

And if you eventually do not bog down under their threats and pressure techniques and the insult, If you just don’t, then you could be kidnapped, your wife could be mob lynched or molested or raped, your daughter could be molested, your sister’s reputation could be reduced to a prostitute and so on. If you as a user are self-aware enough, which most of us are, you give in to these demands and pay them off. Even though you have not borrowed from them in the first place. Hoping that these threats would stop.

But no... they don’t. They don’t stop, In fact, they have just understood that they got to you – the threats are about to get louder, dirtier, scarier. 

And... What makes us fall prey to them? This perhaps may seem like a simple answer but it's not now. We spoke to NCLT Advocate Mr Tushar Kumar he mentions this is a case of defamation, hear him out… (Click to listen)

What brings anyone to this point where they end up fooling themselves?

As the news went out about Dais World preparing this report against Financial Frauds, lots of people reached out to tell their side of the suffering in their own ways. Most of them were angry, disappointed, sad and a lot of other things. And most of them, FOOLED. We will share one such story where you will learn how one of these victims subjected himself to a 2300% annual rate of interest just because he needed money. (Click to listen)

In supply lies the ultimate reason for demand. Just like everything, there is a market for these frauds and the customer list is endless. While many may think of these victims as dimwits or ignorant souls, the truth is, that most of us end up going through similar motivations each day. Let's poke into some of those for a quick bit.

❖     The Pandemic Effect: It is no more news that the last two years have been hard on almost everyone in some or the other way, especially financially. The financial strain hit the working-class people harder when some lost their jobs and some did not get paid for months. The need for money became urgent and perhaps survival instincts were running at their peak. A perfect feeding ground for those preying on desperation. It is stated in an RBI report that approximately 1100 apps were virtually providing loans to Indians on digital platforms - 600 of these were illegal and owned by offshore entities, especially from China.

❖     Fall of the microfinance model: The Microfinance Institutions came crumbling down when the share of bad loans in the economy increased from 2% during the first wave of COVID–19 to 8% during the second wave. This hesitation of the microlender (the jeweller, the moneylender, the small business loan provider) meant the shutting of doors in extreme times of need. In fact, it has been reported that the target audience for these scammers is often people who are unable to apply for a proper bank loan. What better spaces for a scammer to feed on?

❖      The need for instant gratification: We hate waiting – for anything. For the screen to load, for the food to arrive, for the grocery to get dropped, for the money to double. The ‘instant’ era of 10-minute delivery has made us more impatient by the day. And while loan sanctions in a traditional bank could take days even weeks, these apps were instant, on tap and paperless! For those in a rush, there is no seeing the devil in the details!

❖      Social FOMO: The human urge to want what others have was only strengthened by the rise of social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat etc. The “need” to buy the latest model of iPhone, the need to go on a skydiving trip, the need to wear the best clothes, eat at the best places, shop at the best malls – all that was dispensable at one time, suddenly has become an urgent necessity!

❖      Perceived Independence: A little extra money earned on the side doesn’t hurt right? Of Course not, provided it is earned and not borrowed on won in a bet. Young victims of app fraud often sought some extra pocket money for expenses that their parents would otherwise never allow. The need to impress one’s own self can take one down dangerous roads.

But then, what's the Government for? What's the police for? What is the judiciary doing? Why isn't the ethical hacker taking these apps down just as they did for the Chinese ones?

The question is – do the victims actually seek help?

And what happens after they realize they have been cheated?

1.       They go to the Police and the Cyber Crime department

2.       They go to the Ethical Hackers

3.       They look up Government Websites for information, helpline numbers and ways out

4.       They go to legal experts to seek counsel

5.       They complain online

6.       They go to Consumer Forums to seek solidarity

7.       They go to legitimate apps and request recourse

8.       And most of them, do nothing. Partially because of the embarrassment of being caught and more so, because they do not believe in the police or the judiciary to give them justice.

 

At this point, we try to understand what NCLT Advocate Mr Tushar has to suggest as the recommended flow of actions when you are the victim (Click to listen to the full conversation)

But can the authorities really do anything? They sure can.

During the course of our investigation, we did unearth a few suggestions from some prominent names in the industry. Here is a list of the ones we thought were enforceable:

1. An inward/acceptance PIN for UPI payments

One of the major loopholes with UPI services is, that you enter your pin to send someone money as a security feature but while receiving money, anyone with your UPI ID or phone number could send you money. Perhaps the thought here was very basic – who rejects incoming money, isn’t it? So why bother with an incoming PIN?

This is being used by fraudsters and scammers to create false money trails. For instance, you were never looking for a loan, but a scammer sends you some money via UPI and you’re unaware of this transaction occurring. Now the scammer has evidence to claim you were borrowing from him/her. The evidence being the UPI transaction.

If the UPI mandates an inward PIN too, where one needs to authorize incoming transactions by a PIN as well, this loophole could be plugged.

2. Target-based awareness campaigns – not just token initiatives

Simply acknowledging the existence of such fraud apps won’t lead to a drop in the number of victims who fall prey to them. The banks, financial institutions and the comparatively small pool of genuine Fintech players must allocate some of their marketing funds towards genuinely spreading awareness with monthly numbers being reported publicly, of how many users were reached.

Perhaps they can draw inspiration from the SEBI-enforced ‘Mutual funds are subject to market risks’ campaign – you sure know the disclaimer by heart now, because the regulatory body ensured that no Asset Management Company was able to shake off the responsibility of consciously educating investors while bringing them onboard.

3. Surgical strike on non-RBI registered apps

A blanket ban on all non-registered apps that have anything to do with collecting money from the user or paying money to him/her, has to be imposed. Unless they have an RBI authorization to function as a micro-lending institution or a Non-Banking Financial Institution and are part of the Self-Regulatory organization as proposed by the RBI in its circular dated 18th November 2021, these apps can be subject to a ban by the regulator with immediate effect.

As Mr. K.K. Jain, Founder of Anytimeloans puts it, “India is primarily a credit-starved nation. Even though there are various legitimate lending organizations- the mismatch in supply and demand creates a gap. And since RBI registered organizations have a tight and lengthy procedure to approve such credits, not giving the user instant access- this is where these apps come into play and make overnight profits.” Let’s hear him, what he had to say (Click to listen).

Sharing Mobile App Builds without being verified under the Digital Lending guidelines of the RBI needs to become a non-bailable offence. A team of ethical hackers, which in any case scours the internet and video streaming platforms for Chinese funded apps and propaganda content, must be effectively used to cleanse the PlayStore and AppStore of such unauthorized apps as well.

A single point complaint window (not a helpline) must be available to every citizen to complain about the cheating episode and a resolution matrix with a 24-hour TAT must be set up with the best of tech brains sitting to protect the nation’s aam aadmi.

4. Redefine the legitimacy of betting apps

There is no federal law which prohibits online betting in India. Hence even though most of us know that sports betting is illegal in India, no Indian is prohibited from online sports betting. Why leave such blatant gaps in a simple law? Is it because the stakes on the Online betting platforms are too high with major celebrities endorsing or owning some of the prominent betting platforms?

It is ironic that in a country like India which has championed the lead to Financial Digitization at such rapid speeds still has an archaic ‘Public Gambling Act’ from pre-independent 1867 to govern its fantasy gaming platforms – leaving gaping loopholes to be exploited.

The gambling laws are mostly state-led. Every state has the authority to define its own laws. While Andhra Pradesh bans all forms of gambling (without the specific mention of online betting), on the other hand, Diu, Daman and Goa welcome gambling houses on their turf, often publicizing their tourism with these embellishments.

An immediate amendment to the 1867 law including online betting/gambling needs to come into place addressing blatant loopholes that most online fantasy gaming platforms use. For example - A game which requires skill cannot be identified as ‘betting,’ said the Supreme Court in a 1968 case. While that was for a case on rummy, sports betting apps are operating under the same premise – that they are based on skill and not purely luck!

While there is no issue with these gaming platforms encouraging betting as a form of entertainment, if there is no clarity of what defines their scope of actions – they become a means of cheating ‘the so-called skilled’ sports enthusiasts who put in money to lay their bets but can never encash their wins.

While a prominent player like Nazara Technologies which owns WCC2 and Halaplay declined to comment, Mr Suraj Chokhani, Founder, Ability Games, which runs popular fantasy sports platforms like rummy24.com and  11wickets.com told us,  “There are a lot of fly-by-night operators who generally don't maintain a separate account for user balance. This malpractice leads to user balances drying up and the operators shut their shop and run away.” He even gave out a quick tip to identify a potential scam platform - “Mostly these small-time operators come up with non-feasible promotional plans which offer heavy bonuses on deposits to the users. When you find something too good to be true, it may not be a rare deal you found, but instead a trap.”

5. Stop dilly-dallying on the Cryptocurrency Laws

The Government of India has failed to pick a concrete stance on the legality of blockchain/cryptocurrencies. They were illegal when they started out and yet remain in the grey area decades after being in existence, maturing and expanding into newer spaces, faster than the Government can keep up.

What started from a Blockchain and a Bitcoin, has now come to NFT and DeFis... making it the perfect hunting ground for a fraudster who sounds sophisticated while doing the same old scam of taking money from enamoured victims and disappearing.

While the Government has decided to take advantage of the recent Crypto boom by taxing the gains at a maximum rate, the legality of the currency remains undefined even today. This needs to stop and the Government needs to now define the right and wrong of this space, making it simpler for citizens as well as the law-enforcement agencies of what’s allowed and what isn’t under the garb of Crypto in India.

But should you continue to remain ignorant?

Constantly falling prey to need or greed seems to have become a quintessential Indian habit. And this keeps getting worse with generations passing by. Availability of information on-tap, circulation of ‘news’ and ‘learnings of the day’ on WhatsApp, doubling of small monies in a matter of minutes in the stock markets, free apps doling out cash by the dozens in return for tiny personal information – has made the average Indian sound smarter but act dumber.

There are ways to protect oneself – provided you choose to step off your high horse of thinking that you’re smarter than the rest. For our readers and viewers, here are a few tips which shall stay helpful..

 ●      Keep your mobile SECURITY software up to date at all times. The latest security software, operating system, and web browser shall provide defense against threats like- viruses and malware, thus making it difficult (though not impossible) for hackers to get through your phone.

●      Avoid POSTING personal information like birthdays and addresses on social media. This is the common feeding ground for hackers to obtain information about you and your dear ones.

●     Google Play Store prohibits lending apps that offer loans with tenures below 60 days. Avoid Apps that send out links to download them because they have not been able to legitimately upload their app to the official PlayStores.

●      If you believe you have been defrauded, RBI recommends that you must register an FIR within the immediate next 48 hours and inform the bank of the fraudulent transactions. If done within this stipulated time, the bank is often liable to investigate and reverse the transactions.

●      Secure your home Wi-Fi with a password always. And DO NOT connect to Public Wi-Fi(s) to log in to your bank account or banking apps.

●      When making online payments ensure the website uses trustworthy technology for payment. Always ensure that the checkout web address begins with an HTTPS. For secure websites, a small lock symbol appears on the website bar. If it doesn’t, stop the transaction.

●      Make that extra effort to actually READ the privacy policies of websites and allow the sites to access only essential data. Also look for information like GST numbers, CIN numbers, RBI registration data(registration as NBFC or NBFC P2P in case of Loan Apps), employee information, recourse for complaints etc. before you click ‘yes’ on every popup in that new app. Search for the name of the app followed by the word "scam" before you proceed to download it. There are sites that rate and test the authenticity of such apps, look for them. Look for previous customer reviews.

●      Phishing scams trick people into disclosing their private information using fraudulent emails, messages, websites, etc. Do not click on links or open ATTACHMENTS from unfamiliar sources.

●      RBI has released a central booklet that has been compiled from various incidents of fraud reported to its various entities in the country which can be accessed here : https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/content/pdfs/BEAWARE07032022.pdf 

●      Stay alert when using your credit/debit card. Enable INTERNATIONAL transactions only when abroad, as it removes the two-step verification needed for payment in India. Make bank/card transactions from your private device only. Never use your friends, family, or anyone else’s device as your personal data might stay saved there

●      Never give anyone ‘remote access to your computer’ – any prompts to download an Any Desk, TeamViewer, VNC connect is a HUGE RED FLAG. Do not respond to such unsolicited calls. No legitimate organization asks you for remote access to your phone or laptop. If you think your hardware is faulty, go to the authorized store and get it checked.

●      Once you scan any QR code, a pop-up view of the URL link must emerge. If you can't access the URL link or if it's a shortened one (such as bit.ly)- be alert. You can also download verified QR Code scanners and cyber security software that displays the URL link before scanning.

●      Be careful of the apps you download on your phone. Every App is governed by a legitimate organization – check out their website, company registration data, privacy policy, RBI registration data, GST number (cross-verify that number with other sites for legitimacy), Terms and conditions, information on the cost of borrowing, fees and charges, office location, phone number, employee data on popular professional networks, which industry associations are they a part of and so on. If you don’t find this data on a simple Google search, you must know you are being scammed. In fact, according to Cyber Security expert Amey Naik, it is relatively difficult and costly for these fake app developers to get their apps on the iOS AppStore. So ironically, a majority of these are on the Android Play Store.

●      Keep an eye out for unusual payment methods – UPI to a direct number, preloaded debit card, iTunes card, gift cards or crypto payments. Try asking a couple of questions and wait for the answer. Approach everything with apprehension. Let them prove they are genuine – that onus is not on you. Do not pay token amounts for verification and do not give pre-authorization to debit where you haven’t availed any service yet.

For those who have still fallen prey and are grappling with what to do in such a case, here are some places that could help: (AV - find in the description section) But also listen to what Cyber Security Expert Mr. Amey Naik has to say . . (Click to hear him)

Indian Cyber Crime Phone Number:

1800 209 6789 or 155260 or 1930

Cyber Crime reporting official site:

https://cybercrime.gov.in/

RBI Ombudsman:

https://cms.rbi.org.in/cms/indexpage.html#eng

RBI Sachet Portal:

https://sachet.rbi.org.in/ 

Serious Fraud Investigation Office

https://www.mca.gov.in/content/mca/global/en/contact-us/grievance-cell.html

Nodal agencies for Cyber Crime reporting/Economic Offences Wing:

https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/content/pdfs/LNA100112C.pdf

Incident reporting

incident@cert-in.org.in

Here is a list of documents the Cyber Crime department will ask you for, to register a complaint

http://www.cybercelldelhi.in/compdocument.html

National Consumer Helpline

https://consumerhelpline.gov.in/ or 1800-11-4000 or 14404 or SMS on this Number 8130009809

Government Apps for registering grievances:

NCH APP: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mount.talent.mtcdev02.udaan

UMANG APP: https://web.umang.gov.in/landing/

NGOs that can help:

https://cercindia.org/

http://cgsiindia.org/

https://consumer-voice.org/

https://www.icrpc.org/

https://faceofindia.org/contact.html 


As India actively continues to transform its tech landscape - with the help of its startup ecosystem and its enterprising young demographic, the pitfalls of this metamorphosis are beginning to get more and more pronounced. Fraud-mongers are improvising as they continue to take advantage of the savvier, smarter population that is open to embracing fresh-off-the-bat ideas, This age of Web3 is supposed to be India’s Tech-ade and a lot of these scams take birth in countries that aren't happy with the speed of our progress.

Would we let them win? If we continue to keep our doors so wide open to such staggering success, we will always end up subjecting ourselves to potentially catastrophic landmines that sneak into the finances.

Dodging cyberattacks won’t suffice. Token awareness campaigns won't cut it. Delayed turnarounds on banning criminals from public interfaces once exposed, just would not work. A Rapid Action Force for Technology crime is what we need right now. Police action, court procedures, elaborate proofs, documented evidence - all of these can be made subsequent to a quick action when such a scam uncovers. 

This Feature is not based on third-party examples. This time it hit home. The scammers took the respect, life savings and dignity of some of our readers, our family members, our friends, and our loved ones. And we could not have just been sitting quiet. We are going all out to ensure we get the action we deserve as a country from our Government and our startup ecosystem - so that we continue to support them in our collective success. WE are going all out to ensure they realize WE, the consumers, are their backbone and WE need to be strengthened for them to stand through and succeed across the next decade as the World’s fastest-growing superpower.

Are you with us? 

Send us your complaints, comments, suggestions, requests Here (In the description section)

 

 

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