In recent years, online payments and fraud have gained much attention. On the one hand, it’s easier for people to deal with being cashless, but on the other hand, 70% of these users have been victims of Cyber fraud. In this blog, we will look into Cyber Financial fraud and where can you report it.
In general words, “Financial fraud” is a situation where a person loses his/ her money dishonestly or mischievously. Online payments have got a huge rise in the world after COVID-19. The payment includes UPI and Internet banking, leading to a hike in cyber money frauds. On July 01 2016, RBI gave recognition to Cyber Financial Fraud and introduced a circular named “Master Directions on Fraud- Classification and Reporting by Commercial Banks and select FIs”.
RBI has categorised financial fraud as Misappropriation and Criminal Breach of Trust, cheating and forgery, unauthorised credit facility extended for reward or illegal gratification, Fraudulent encashment through forged documents, fraudulent transactions considering foreign exchange, manipulation of books of account or through fictitious accounts and property conversion or any other type of fraud. According to rule 2.2 of the Circular, these acts shall be read in accordance with the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which considers it an offence. The government has issued certain guidelines concerning this matter and made a mechanism to report cyber financial fraud under the I4C scheme, etc.
What is the I4C scheme?
In order to control the rising Cyber Financial Fraud, the Government of India introduced Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre in 2019, also known as the I4C scheme. This scheme was introduced under the guidance of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is established in various centres for the identification and investigation of cyber-crimes such as National Cybercrime Reporting, the Platform for Joint Cybercrime Investigation Team, the National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit (TAU), the National Cybercrime Training Centre (NCTC), National Cybercrime Forensic Laboratory (NCFL) Ecosystem Cybercrime Ecosystem Management Unit, and National Cybercrime Research and Innovation Centre.
This scheme identifies the research problem and prioritises Research and development activities for new technologies within India and abroad. It is used to prevent the exploitation of cyberspace for furthering the reason of terrorist and extremist groups. It also recommends the changes required in the present cyber laws to balance technology and international cooperation.
When a cyber financial fraud happens, the victim can report the incident by calling at 1930 or lodge a formal complaint on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal www.cybercrime.gov.in.
Procedure to lodge a complaint on National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal
· Whenever a cyber financial fraud occurs, a victim can access the website www.cybercrime.gov.in and get registered as a new user
· After the successful registration, the user needs to click “Report Cyber Crime”
· Select your state
· According to the RBI circular, go to the “Frauds: Classification and Reporting” then the complaint will be marked to the cyber cell, and the FIR will be lodged at the police station where the offence is alleged to be committed.
Since no legislation specifically provides cyber financial fraud as a separate offence, RBI issued guidelines for these cases, in which the provisions of IPC will be applied.
Whenever financial fraud is committed either by way of online mode or otherwise, time is considered as the utmost essence, and the RBI guidelines entail the person to report the same asap. Obviously, the law favours the vigilant and does not rescue the one who doesn’t stand for his rights. If the victim swiftly reports the commission of fraud, then as per I4C Scheme, the chances of recovery of deceived amount get high.
Remedies if FIR has not been lodged or no action is taken
There may be cases where even if you’ve filed a complaint, no action is taken. In a situation like that, the victim has the right to approach the Superintendent of Police under Section 154(3) of CrPC to lodge an FIR. Even after that, if no action is taken, the victim can report to the Judicial/Metropolitan Magistrate under Section 156 (3) of CrPC and seek a direction to lodge the FIR.
Why FIR is lodged because it keeps the criminal procedure in motion and mandates the Police to conduct an investigation, for cybercrimes, it is the Cyber cell of the Police that conducts the investigation.
Steps to avoid Cyber Financial Frauds
1. Use Verified apps only
2. Browse authorised and secured websites
3. Use safe Internet Connections
4. Strict vigilance while using the card
5. Always update your mobile security and Computer
6. Don’t respond to Fake Calls, SMS or Emails
The existing laws do not classify cybercrimes as separate offences. However, RBI’s guidelines state that such offences will be dealt with under IPC and IT Act, 2000. The recovery of the deceived amount is given high priority, and speedy recovery is the greatest relief a victim can avail of. The reason for introducing the I4C scheme, keeping in mind the motive of law that Justice delayed, is Justice denied. Apart from this, a trial can be instituted under the penal laws to ensure complete justice for the victim.