During the pandemic, several people had lodged complaints of SIM card cloning and fraudulent transactions in which money was deducted from their accounts to other payment wallets. Following this, Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C) and the Union home ministry launched an initiative under which Citizen Financial Fraud Reporting and Management System was developed and made available to the state police forces.
At present, Delhi and Rajasthan police have made it operational. The details are available on the police dashboard of National Cybercrime Reporting Portal too.
Anvyesh Roy, DCP, cybercrime, said, “Till now, in 23 cases, fraud amount totalling Rs 8.1 lakh has been put on hold. Around 138 fraud tickets have been raised since its formal launch on April 1. The testing began last November.”
The efficacy of the initiative depends on prompt reporting of online financial frauds by the victims on the helpline, he added. “The earlier they report, the more it is likely that the defrauded money can be traced and put on hold while it is still in the digital ecosystem.”
The helpline aims to put on hold fraudulent transactions so that the victims don’t lose out on the money. The system, which is linked to several banks and payment getaways, sends a real-time alert to the respective financial intermediaries (FI). If the funds have moved out, it feeds the transaction details in the portal and escalates it to the next FI. If funds are found available, it’s temporarily put on hold.
The initiative seeks to create a platform where all FIs, merchants, utilities and any other entity involved in the money or digital trail are connected with each other for online fraud ticket generation, escalation and resolution. Reserve Bank of India has already asked all FIs regulated by it to become part of this initiative.
For this to be successful, all parties concerned need to work round the clock because crooks strike when banks are shut, said an investigating officer of the cyber unit. “Not all banks and merchants work round the clock. Some have holidays or work only till evening or some at night. We are in talks to improvise the system. This will take time, but will happen gradually,” the officer said.