The Union Home Ministry has operationalised the national helpline 155260 and reporting platform for preventing financial loss due to cyber fraud. The helpline is currently functioning in seven states and union territories including Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The government has noted that the helpline will be rolled out in all states of India and is operated by the state police. The helpline which was soft-launched on April 2021 and has been made operational by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), 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 to integrate law enforcement agencies and banks and financial intermediaries. According to the Centre, the helpline 155260 has been able to save more than Rs 1.85 crore of defrauded money from reaching the hands of fraudsters. Delhi and Rajasthan have saved Rs 58 lakh and Rs 53 lakh amount, respectively.
The 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.
Once victims call on the helpline manned by the state police, a police 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 then gets escalated to the concerned banks, wallets, merchants, depending on whether these are the victim's bank or the bank or wallet in which the defrauded money has gone.
The victim will then receive an acknowledgement number of the complaint through SMS. They will also be directed to submit complete details of the fraud on the national cybercrime reporting portal (https://cybercrime.gov.in/) within 24 hours, using the acknowledgement number.
Once the ticket is generated, the concerned bank will be able to see the ticket on its dashboard on the reporting portal to check the details in its internal systems. If the defrauded money is still available, the bank will put it on hold, not allowing the fraudster to withdraw the money. If the defrauded money has moved out to another bank, the ticket will get escalated to the next bank to which the money has moved out. The process will be repeated until the money is saved from reaching the hands of the fraudsters.
Currently, the helpline and its reporting platform have all the major public and private sector banks onboard. These include State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Union Bank, IndusInd, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank. It also has all major online wallets and merchants such as PayTM, PhonePe, Mobikwik, Flipkart and Amazon linked to it.
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