Adding another layer of security against the cyber frauds to further secure the digital payments eco-system, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has operationalised national cyber fraud helpline, 155260 a digital platform to check and report financial loss due to cyber fraud.
The new platform will not just provide a mechanism to report the matters related to cyber fraud but will also work to incapacitate digital transactions that are reported to be part of cyber fraud. The helpline was soft launched on April 1 this year.
The cyber fraud helpline number 155260 and its reporting platform has been made operational by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the MHA, with active support and cooperation from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), all major banks, Payment Banks, Wallets and Online Merchants.
“The Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System has been developed in house by I4C to integrate Law Enforcement Agencies and Banks and Financial Intermediaries,” Union home ministry said in a statement
The helpline is currently functional in seven states and UTs. “It is currently being utilized along with 155260 by seven States and Union Territories (Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh) covering more than 35 per cent of the country’s population,” Union ministry said.
The Centre will soon roll out the facility to other states for a pan-national coverage that will prevent the flow of money siphoned off by fraudsters.
According to the government data, since the new helpline was made functional about Rs 1.85 crore(US$ 249,514.13) defrauded money has been withheld from reaching the hands of fraudsters, with Delhi and Rajasthan saving Rs 58 lakh and Rs 53 lakh respectively.
The new facility empowers both the banks and the police, by leveraging new-age technologies for sharing online fraud related information and taking action in almost real time. The loss of defrauded money in online cheating cases can be stopped by chasing the money trail and stopping its further flow before it is taken out of the digital ecosystem by the fraudster.
While making the cyber fraud helpline operational, the Union ministry said victims of cyber fraud can call on helpline 155260, which is 24X7 operational, manned and operated by the concerned state police departments.
Once a victim reaches out for help the telephone operator notes down the fraud transaction details and basic personal information of the caller and submits them in the form of a Ticket on the Citizen Financial Cyber Frauds Reporting and Management System.
The Ticket gets escalated to the concerned Banks, Wallets, Merchants and so on, depending on whether they are the victim’s bank or the bank/wallet in which the defrauded money has gone.
An SMS is also sent to the victim with an acknowledgement number of the complaint with direction to submit complete details of the fraud on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (https:/ cybercrime.gov.in/) within 24 hours, using the acknowledgement number.
The concerned bank, which can now see the ticket on its dashboard on the reporting portal, checks the details in its internal systems. If the defrauded money is still available, the bank puts it on hold and the fraudster cannot withdraw the money.
If the defrauded money has moved out to another bank, the Ticket gets escalated to the next bank to which the money has moved out. This process is repeated until the money is saved from reaching into the hands of the fraudsters.
Currently, the helpline and its reporting platform has all the major public and private sector banks onboard. These banks include — State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Union Bank, IndusInd, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis, Yes and Kotak Mahindra Bank. It also has all major wallets and merchants such as PayTM, PhonePe, Mobikwik, Flipkart and Amazon linked to it.
The success of the Helpline and Reporting Platform can be gauged from the fact that on several occasions, the cheated money has been stopped from reaching fraudsters even after it has been moved by the cheats to five different banks to hide the trail.