cybercrime: A way to foil cybercrime? Call it in and you could get the money back – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/a-way-to-foil-cybercrime-call-it-in-and-you-could-get-the-money-back/articleshow/84956018.cmsSynopsis

The police are working closely with the Reserve Bank of India, which has even developed a standard operating procedure for banks on how to respond to cybercrime alerts. The RBI has told both state-run and private banks that their support is critical to make the initiative a success.

The Bengaluru City Police have quietly rolled out a system to foil cybercrimes as they unfold in payment gateways and banking channels, in a first such effort in the country.

The police are working closely with the Reserve Bank of India, which has even developed a standard operating procedure for banks on how to respond to cybercrime alerts. The RBI has told both state-run and private banks that their support is critical to make the initiative a success.

To make reporting of online frauds easy, the city police have introduced what is called a cybercrime incident report (CIR). All that a victim has to do is call the police helpline 112, and things are designed to fall in place thereafter, police commissioner Kamal Pant told ET.

The moment a person comes to know of a cyber fraud on him, he or she can report to the number 112. The police will step in to reclaim that money for the victim before the transaction progresses and the fraudster withdraws the money.

The police have worked on this new system within the available legal framework that works around the FIR route. An FIR process typically consumes time, and there are chances of fraudsters walking away with money by the time the FIR formalities complete. The police believe they can do without FIRs in a large number of cyber frauds as denominations involved are small, perpetrated mostly on poor and non-literate people. The police, however, continue to register FIRs where the money involved is big and transactions are complex.

A Way to Foil Cybercrime? Call it In and You Could Get the Money Back

Under the new system, the moment a caller lodges a complaint on 112, it is treated as a criminal miscellaneous petition. The caller gets an SMS with a URL link. On opening it, the complainant finds details of his complaint, and he has to ‘agree’ if he finds them correct, or can seek changes before approving it.

Then it acquires the shape of a formal complaint, helping the police to alert banking channels, and setting into motion other formalities to halt the transaction, and recover money if it is not already withdrawn. Commissioner Pant acknowledged the help the police have received from courts to make the new system tick.

The police are implementing it since early this year, and the largest number of cybercrimes involved UPI-based transactions, followed by fraud calls/phishing, Internet banking, debit/credit cards, e-wallets and other online frauds. The police have, in the last few months, registered about 5,000 CIRs and got 2,346 bank accounts frozen, blocking about Rs 52 crore.

A few banks have fully backed the initiative, Pant said, and added the RBI was actively engaged with banks to enlist their full cooperation. The police have focused on Bengaluru to launch the initiative as the city is India’s tech capital, accounting for a large number of digital transactions.

The idea was to make the process simple so that people would have faith in the system to come forward and report frauds, said Anil Kumar, a domain expert who is part of the project.

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