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Step-By-Step Guide to Reporting Online Fraud

  • Highlights

  • The national cybercrime hotline number is 155260

  • File your online fraud complaint at https://cybercrime.gov.in/

  • Keep validating documents ready to substantiate your claim 

Every technological advancement is done with a purpose to ease lives. From computers to the internet to digitisation; everything has offered convenience. The world has been brought to our palms through smartphones and activities like banking, ordering goods and services, booking travel tickets, and catching up with our loved ones at the other end of the world are now a breeze. While it has become an integral part of our lives, it does have a dark side to it. The anonymity and speed offered by the online world make us vulnerable to several online frauds.

Over the years, types of online fraud vehave also evolved. Cybercriminals are infesting the internet, discovering new ways to target people. According to research conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures, the global damage infliction due to online fraud is expected to touch $6 trillion by the end of 2021.[1]

What is online fraud?

Online fraud is a vast categorisation of crimes – if a crime takes place on the internet, it is termed as online fraud. Any unlawful or criminal act that involves a computer, laptop, or network-connected devices to perpetrate crimes, directly or indirectly, falls within the online fraud domain. 
Some of the common online bank frauds in India are vishing, phishing, account hacking, credit card fraud, identity theft among others. As per the I.T. Act of India, an online fraud complaint can be filed at any cyber cell because of its global jurisdiction.

Step by Step guide to reporting online fraud

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Step 1: Call customer care to block your debit and credit card

If you have been a victim of bank fraud in India, first and foremost, call up your financial provider and block your cards. Highlight the fraudulent and unauthorized transactions on your debit and credit card and communicate the same to customer care. This step needs to be taken before registering the official complaint / FIR.

Step 2: Collect all the information related to the online fraud

Before you file a complaint, all supporting documentation needs to be collated. Your bank statements for the past six months, SMSes, links that you were asked to download, the date and amount of the unauthorised transaction and such information that validates your claim. Take a screenshot of the malicious apps you downloaded and the communication texts with the impostor. Also, your ID and address proof will be required.

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Step 3: Register a written complaint with the cybercrime cell – online or offline

The IT Act has declared online financial and bank frauds in India a part of global jurisdiction. Thereforeany cybercrime cell can be approached. Alternatively, you can file an online fraud complaint at https://cybercrime.gov.in/. There is an option of calling them as well on the dedicated cybercrime hotline number -155260 on a working day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Step 4: Register a cybercrime FIR at your nearest police station

If you are unable to access any cyber cells in India, go to the nearest police station and file a First Information Report (FIR). If they do not accept your complaint, approach the Commissioner or the Judicial Magistrate of the city. According to Section 154, code of criminal procedure, every police officer must register and record the complaint regardless of the jurisdiction.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • The complaint letter being sent to the cyber crime cell needs to be addressed to the head of the cyber crime cell

  • All personal detail such as name, contact details - email ID, address, and phone number must be clearly stated

  • Based on the nature of the online fraud, specific substantiating documents will be required while filing the complaint. This need will vary based on the dynamic of the crime and will act as evidence to validate your case

  • The customer is absolved of the financial liability if the fraud takes place due to the bank’s negligence

  • As per the RBI, if the online fraud takes place due to third party involvement such as malware sites, public Wi-Fi, ATM scammers where neither the customer nor the bank is involved, the customer needs to inform the financial institution within 72 hours to avoid any financial liability

  • Inform the bank and the cyber crime cell as soon as you notice any fraudulent activity, the more you delay, the more you are at a disadvantage

If the online fraud entails financial fraud related to Bajaj Finance, phishing, an advance loan fee scam, an impostor pretending to be a Bajaj employee, or credit card theft amongst others, reach out immediately at https://www.bajajfinserv.in/reach-us. Follow the same protocol with any other bank, lender, or NBFC and intimate them about the incident.

Savdhaan Rahein. Safe Rahein.

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