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MHA appoints an inter-ministerial body to check cyber crime and phishing


In the wake of increased cyber crimes and voice phishing originating from Jharkhand, the government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to check on phone and cyber fraud (hat tip: Srinivas Kodali). Sanjiv Kumar, a member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha had asked the home affairs ministry what measures that government was taking to curb the increased incidents of cybercrime originating from Giridih, Jamtara and Deoghar districts.

Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, minister of state for home affairs, said that the committee will be called Inter-Ministerial Committee on Phone Fraud (IMCPF) and will have members the  Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Department of Financial Services, Department of Telecommunication, Reserve Bank of India and law enforcement agencies, to address the problem.

FCORD, an intelligence and information agency which was formed to counter the circulation of fake currency notes in the country, has been designated as Central Nodal Agency to tackle these cyber crimes. The additional general of police (ADGP) or the inspector general of police (IGP) of crime in each state will function as a State Nodal Officer.

Financial cybercrime in India has been steadily increasing over the years. For the year 2015-16, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reported 16,468 cyber crimes related to ATM, debit card, credit card and net banking frauds. The number of frauds reported by the RBI were 13,083 in the year 2014-15 and 9,500 in the year 2013-14.

Voice phishing, in particular, has been on the rise. In fact, State Bank of India (SBI), the largest bank in the country removed the option of loading money on all major wallets through net banking due to rising online frauds. The bank said scammers pretend to be a legitimate business and fools victims into divulging their net banking credentials. The money would be sent to a wallet and transferred into a bank account.

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