- Report Cyber Crime in India online & offline and educate you on where to report cybercrime in India before it is too late.
- Victims of cyber fraud can call on helpline number 155260, which is manned and operated by the state police concerned
- Currently, the number would be operational in seven states and Union territories (Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh)
Reinforcing the commitment of the Modi government to provide a safe and secure digital payments ecosystem, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has operationalized the national helpline 155260 and reporting platform for preventing financial loss due to cyber fraud, the Centre said in a statement.
Currently, the number would be operational in seven states and Union territories (Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh). The rollout in the other states for pan-India coverage is underway, the government added.
As per the Centre, the helpline 155260 has been able to save more than ₹1.85 crores of defrauded money from reaching the hands of fraudsters. Delhi and Rajasthan have save ₹58 lakh and ₹53 lakh amount, respectively, the statement said.
Or You Can Use Online Cyber Crime Reporting Portal to Report Cyber Crime
The National Cyber Crime Portal portal has two categories: one for reporting crimes against women and children, and another for general cybercrime, including phishing, ransomware, and denial-of-service attacks.
Victims of cyber-attacks and cybercrime can use the tool to file anonymous reports or give their details so they can track the case online.
In either case, cybercrime reports are forwarded to police forces in the relevant Indian state, who then passes the report down to the district level for investigation.
The authorities are also concerned that victims of online sexual and non-sexual abuse, such as harassment, may not be taking their cases to the police.
According to India-based IDC analyst Mohsin Baig, the country’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) believes cybercrime is increasing 21% annually.
Steps to File a Cyber Crime Complaint
Let’s accept it, we have all seen such cases happen with our kith and kin. Losing one’s hard-earned money to online criminals or seeing a loved one suffer due to a matrimonial scam can be painful and hard to accept.
And the scenario that follows is utter confusion and the inability to comprehend the next course of action. Where to file a cybercrime complaint? What are the steps to register a cybercrime FIR? What evidence to provide? How long to wait before following up and so much more!
In the event of cybercrime, it is really distressing to get a grip on the situation. Worst still, to go through the process of understanding how to file a cybercrime complaint in that grueling moment! We recommend that one should not wait for cybercrime to strike to be aware of the response mechanism to a cyber offense. The following section shall tell you how to file a cybercrime complaint in India in few simple steps.
1. The very first step to filing a cybercrime complaint is to register a written complaint with the cybercrime cell of the city are currently in.
According to the IT Act, a cybercrime comes under the purview of global jurisdiction. This means that a cybercrime complaint can be registered with any of the cyber cells in India, irrespective of the place where it was originally committed.
At present, most cities in India have a dedicated cybercrime cell. The last section of this article shall provide you with the list of cyber cells in India.
2. When filing the cybercrime complaint, you need to provide your name, contact details, and address for mailing. You need to address the written complaint to the Head of the Cyber Crime Cell of the city where you are filing the cybercrime complaint.
3. In case you are a victim of online harassment, legal counsel can be approached to assist you with reporting it to the police station. Additionally, you may be asked to provide certain documents with the complaint. This would, however, depend on the nature of the crime.
4. Register a Cyber Crime FIR: If you do not have access to any of the cyber cells in India, you can file a First Information Report (FIR) at the local police station. In case your complaint is not accepted there, you can approach the Commissioner or the city’s Judicial Magistrate.
5. Certain cybercrime offenses come under the Indian Penal Code. You can register a cybercrime FIR at the nearest local police station to report them.
It is mandatory under Section 154, Code of Criminal Procedure, for every police officer to record the information/complaint of an offense, irrespective of the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed.
6. Most of the cyber crimes that are covered under the Indian Penal Code are classified as cognizable offenses. A cognizable offense is one in which a warrant is not required for an arrest or investigation.
In this case, a police officer is bound to record a Zero FIR from the complainant. He must then forward it to the police station under the jurisdiction of the place where the offense was committed.
7. Zero FIR offers some solace to victims of cases that require immediate attention/investigation as it avoids wasting time in enlisting the offense on police records.
For Filing Complaints Related to Social Media Cyber Crimes:
1. Apart from the above steps, one must also register a complaint on the corresponding platform where the offense was committed. The steps for the same are clearly stated on every social media platform.
2. Most social media platforms have a clear procedure in place for reporting any abuse or other nasty offenses. You must make sure that you report such activities in the very initial stages of their occurrence. This shall enable the concerned social media platform to take immediate steps for blocking further activities and protecting the privacy of your personal information.
3. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube have a strict and clear redressal mechanism to protect its users from online abuse and cybercrimes. Make sure that you do your groundwork on their guidelines for reporting abuse without waiting for abuse to actually happen!
How to file a Cyber Crime Complaint online?
The online portal where a victim can file a cyber crime complaint is https://cyber crime.gov.in/, an initiative of the Government of India that caters to complaints pertaining to online Child Pornography (CP), Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), or sexually explicit content such as Rape/Gang Rape (CP/RGR) content and other cybercrimes such as social media crimes, online financial frauds, ransomware, hacking, cryptocurrency crimes, and online cyber trafficking. The portal also provides an option of reporting an anonymous complaint about reporting Child Pornography (CP) or sexually explicit content such as Rape/Gang Rape (RGR) content. One can follow the below-mentioned steps to report a cybercrime online –
STEP 1: Go to https://cyber crime.gov.in/Accept.aspx
STEP 2: Click on ‘Report other cyber crimes’ on the menu.
STEP 3: Click on ‘File a Complaint.
STEP 4: Read the conditions and accept them.
STEP 5: Register your mobile number and fill in your name and State.
STEP 6: Fill in the relevant details about the offense.
Note: You can also report the offense anonymously.
Format of a Cyber Crime Complaint:
There is no separate format for filing a complaint about cybercrime. You need to write a letter specifying all the details about the crime and file it in the nearest police station/cyber cell. You need to provide a name, mailing address & telephone number along with an application letter addressing the head of a cybercrime investigation cell and related documents as attachments.
How to file a complaint against Cyber Stalking?
Cyber Stalking is the persistent use of the internet, e-mail, social networks, instant messaging or related digital devices to irritate, badger, or threaten people. Prior to the February 2013 amendment, there was no specific law against it, now it falls under the purview of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013.
Under Section 354(d), if any person follows a woman and tries to contact her in order to foster personal interaction despite the woman’s disinclination towards it, then he is committing stalking and can be charged against it. Also, if a person monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email, or any other form of electronic communication, he commits the offense of stalking.
Filing a complaint against Cyber Stalking:
- Register a written complaint to your immediate cyber cell in the city.
- File an F.I.R. in the local police station. In case of non-acceptance of your complaint, you can always refer the complaint to the commissioner or judicial magistrate of the city.
- A legal counsel/assistance to help you file a case will be provided to you.
How to file a complaint about Cyber Bullying?
Cyberbullying is the bullying executed through digital devices like computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets leading to humiliation. It also comprises posting, sending, or sharing negative, nasty, or false information about another individual for causing humiliation and what is popularly known as character assassination.
- Most social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, etc. have clear guidelines with respect to reporting and curbing cyberbullying. Such platforms can help you in having the offensive post removed.
- Further, you can report cyberbullying in India by mailing a complaint to [email protected] describing the details.
- You can also lodge a complaint at your nearest cyber cell unit.
What to do if your Cyber Cell refuses to accept your complaint?
If the cyber cell refuses to file or accept your cyber complaint, you can fill a direct representation to the nearest Judicial Magistrate stating the fact that the complaint has not been accepted under any/certain circumstances.
What are the documents required to file a Cyber Crime complaint?
Following are the documents required to file a Cyber Crime complaint,
For Email Based Complaints:
- A written complaint explaining the complete incidence and offence,
- Copy of the alleged Email taken from the original receiver. Copy of the forwarded email should be avoided.
- Full Header of the alleged Email.
- Copy of email and header should be in both hard & soft forms (in CD-R only).
For Social Media Based Complaints:
- A copy or screenshot of the alleged profile and/or the content or a screenshot of the URL of the alleged content,
- Hard and soft copies of the alleged content (ensure that the soft copy is provided in a CD-R form).
For Mobile App-Based Complaints:
- A screenshot of the alleged app,
- The location from where it was downloaded,
- The victim’s bank statements in case any transactions were made after/before/during the incident,
- Soft copies of all the above-mentioned documents.
For Business Email Based Complaints:
- A written brief about the offense and the incident,
- Originating name (as in the email or offender) and location,
- Originating bank name and account number (as per the email),
- Recipient’s name (as in bank records), bank account number and bank location (not mandatory),
- Date and amount of transaction as done,
- SWIFT number,
- Additional Information (if available) – including “FFC”- For Further Credit; “FAV” – In Favor Of.
For Data Theft Complaints:
- A copy of the stolen data and brief,
- The copyright certificate of the allegedly stolen data,
- Details of the suspected employee/(s),
- The following documents are required in relation to the suspected employee(s):
- Letter of Appointment,
- Non-disclosure Agreement,
- Assigned list of duty and gadgets,
- List of clients that the suspect handles,
- The proof of breach of your copyright data,
- Devices used by the accused during his/her term of service (only if available) with the company.
For Ransomware/Malware Complaints:
- Email id /phone number (or any details) or any other means of communication through which ransom has been demanded,
- If malware was sent in the attachment of the mail, screenshots of the mail with full header of first receiver be provided.
For Internet Banking/Online Transactions/Lottery Scam/Fake Call Related Complaints:
- Bank statement of the concerned bank for the last six months,
- A copy of the SMS/(s) received related to the suspected transactions,
- Copy of the victim’s ID & address proof as per the bank record.
For Net Banking/ATM Complaints:
- A print out of the alleged emails with its complete header as received by the original receiver (forwarded emails should be avoided),
- Victim’s bank statement,
- Details of the suspected transactions,
- Soft copies of all the aforesaid documents.
For Bitcoin Based Complaints:
- A written brief about the offense,
- The address of the bitcoin,
- The amount of bitcoin in question,
- The address from/to whom the purchase/sale of the bitcoins has been done.
Cyber crime against Women & Children
The rise of cybercrime has resulted in targeting the most vulnerable segment of society, i.e. women and children. The most common and frequently reported sorts of cyber crimes against women include cyberstalking, pornography, morphing, online harassment, trolling and bullying, threat and intimidation, and email spoofing. While against the child, the types of cybercrime are the circulation of pedophilic videos/ messages, child pornography, etc. The extent of mischief has degraded to a level where the top searches for a porn site show result in rapes and child pornography. Also, there are some online social games such as Blue Whale which led to the unfortunate deaths of many innocent teenagers.
The Ministry of Home Affairs introduced the scheme for cybercrime Prevention against Women and Children (CCWC) to handle cyber crimes against women and children effectively in the country with an estimated outlay of Rs. 223.198 crores (approx), for formulating:
- Online cyber crime reporting unit,
- Forensic Unit,
- Capacity building Unit,
- Research and Development Unit and
- Awareness creation Unit.
What are the Consequences of Cyber Crime?
It is really important to know how to report cybercrime as the consequences of cybercrime are borne by the victim.
- Revenue Loss – Cyber Crimedone against the company results in huge revenue losses or income loss to the company especially when the company’s sensitive data and information is compromised.
- Reputation Damage – The reputation of an organization can go haywire when its information is hacked. In most cases, where hacking occurs with bank accounts or credit/debit cards, often customers lose trust in the organization.
- Aftermath of Cyber Terrorism – Cyber terrorism is one of the most serious cyber crime and thus affects the victims badly, as it affects a significantly large number of people at once. It can weaken countries’ economy greatly, thereby stripping them of its resources and making it more vulnerable to military attack. It could affect the economy by loss of money during the downtime which is a part of cyber crime strategy.
- Impact on Society and Government – Since computers have replaced manual work in almost every field and the government is also going digitized, cyber crime has its impact on the government and society as well. One can witness in the case when some young hackers hacked the Maharashtra government’s website. This has become a cost-efficient method of making money for the criminals.