MHA Issues Warning Against Cyber Criminals Impersonating Government Agencies

These criminals are posing as representatives from agencies like the NCB, CBI, RBI, as well as state and Union Territory Police.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a stern warning on Tuesday regarding the rise of cyber criminals who are engaging in fraudulent activities such as blackmail and ‘digital arrest’ by impersonating officers from various government agencies. These criminals are posing as representatives from agencies like the NCB, CBI, RBI, as well as state and Union Territory Police.

In a statement released by the MHA, it highlighted the increasing number of complaints being reported on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP) concerning intimidation, blackmail, extortion, and instances of “digital arrests” orchestrated by cyber criminals posing as law enforcement authorities.

“The modus operandi of these fraudsters often involves contacting potential victims and falsely alleging that they have sent or are the intended recipients of illegal goods, drugs, fake passports, or other contraband items,” stated the MHA.

The Ministry further explained that in some cases, these criminals inform victims that a family member or close associate has been implicated in a crime or an accident and is under their custody. Subsequently, they demand monetary compensation to resolve the fabricated “case”.

“In certain instances, unsuspecting victims are coerced into undergoing ‘digital arrest’, where they are required to remain visually available over platforms like Skype until their demands are met,” the statement added.

To appear more authentic, these fraudsters utilize studios resembling police stations and government offices and often don uniforms during their interactions with victims, alerting the MHA to exercise caution.

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The MHA emphasized that victims across the country have suffered substantial financial losses due to such fraudulent activities, which are believed to be orchestrated by organized cross-border crime syndicates.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is actively coordinating efforts to combat cybercrime nationwide. The MHA assured that it is collaborating with other ministries, agencies, the RBI, and other organizations to counter these scams.

“I4C has taken measures to block over 1,000 Skype IDs associated with these activities in partnership with Microsoft. Additionally, it is facilitating the blocking of SIM cards, mobile devices, and Mule accounts utilized by these fraudsters,” the MHA stated.

The ministry urged citizens to remain vigilant and raise awareness about such fraudulent schemes. It advised individuals to report any suspicious incidents to the cybercrime helpline number 1930 or visit for assistance.

“Citizens are advised to be alert and spread awareness about these types of frauds. On receipt of such calls, the citizens should immediately report the incident on cybercrime helpline number 1930 or for assistance,” it added.