Online fraudsters and cybercriminals often deceive potential victims by claiming they have sent or are about to receive parcels containing illegal items, such as drugs or counterfeit passports.

In some cases, these criminals contact the victim’s relatives or friends, falsely stating that the victim is involved in a crime or accident and is being detained.

To add credibility, fraudsters often use images or identities of police officers and demand money for a ‘compromise’ to close the matter.
Victims may be “digitally arrested,” forced to stay visible to the criminals via Skype or other video conferencing platforms until demands are met.

Cybercriminals sometimes operate from studios mimicking police stations or government offices and wear law enforcement-style outfits.

Steps Taken by the Government

Blocking Malicious IDs and Accounts:

  • The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has partnered with Microsoft to block over 1,000 Skype IDs linked to cybercrime operations.
  • Efforts include blocking SIM cards, mobile devices, and “mule” accounts used by cybercriminals. Money mules are often innocent victims duped into laundering stolen money via their bank accounts.

Inter-Agency Collaboration:

  • The Home Ministry collaborates with other ministries, agencies, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and other organizations to combat these illicit activities.
  • I4C provides inputs and technical support to state and union territory police forces to identify and investigate cybercrime instances.

Public Awareness Campaigns:

  • I4C has launched infographics and videos on its social media platform Cyberdost, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • The Ministry encourages citizens to stay vigilant and raise awareness about cybercrime.


The National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP) has received numerous complaints about intimidation, blackmail, extortion, and digital arrests by cybercriminals impersonating authorities such as the police, CBI, Narcotics Department, RBI, and ED.

Intelligence services have confirmed that these incidents are part of a larger online economic crime racket orchestrated by cross-border crime syndicates.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 17, 2024