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Cybercrime surge in India: Over 7,000 daily complaints in 2024, key locations identified in Southeast Asia

India is facing rise in cybercrime, averaging more than 7,000 complaints daily up to May this year. Rajesh Kumar, CEO of the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), highlighted that many cyber fraudsters targeting India are believed to be operating from key locations in Southeast Asia, including Pursat, Koh Kong, Sihanoukville, Kandal, Bavet, and Poipet in Cambodia; Thailand; and Myawaddy and Shwe Kokko in Myanmar.
 
The upward trend in cybercrime is evident, with complaints surging by 113.7% from 2021 to 2022 and 60.9% from 2022 to 2023. The number of complaints has steadily increased over the years: 26,049 in 2019; 255,777 in 2020; 452,414 in 2021; 956,790 in 2022; and 1,556,215 in 2023. So far in 2024, 740,957 complaints have already been lodged.
 
This year, most cyber fraud incidents involve fake trading apps, loan apps, gaming apps, dating apps, and algorithm manipulation. Between January and April, the I4C received 4,599 complaints about digital fraud amounting to Rs 1,203.06 crore. Additionally, 20,043 trading scams totaling Rs 14,204.83 crore, 62,687 investment scams totaling Rs 2,225.82 crore, and 1,725 dating scams worth Rs 132.31 crore were reported. Law enforcement agencies have filed 10,000 First Information Reports (FIRs) in response.
 
To combat these fraudsters, the I4C and various law enforcement agencies have frozen nearly 325,000 mule bank accounts in the past four months. Additionally, 530,000 SIM cards and 3,401 social media accounts, including WhatsApp groups, have been blocked.
 
This surge in cybercrime cases suggests an alarming trend and underscores the increasing challenges related to cybersecurity in the country. This also highlights the necessity for enhanced cyber defence mechanisms, public awareness, and robust legal frameworks to tackle the burgeoning issue of cybercrime.
 
Victim is contacted via normal call from India number using call spoofing. The fraudsters also make calls posing as officers of Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, Directorate of Enforcement, Reserve Bank of India, and other law enforcement agencies of states and Union Territories. 
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Last Updated: 15th Jun 2024