The anti-phishing portal created by the Maharashtra Police department in 2019 for receiving complaints on cyber-crimes saw a four-fold rise in such complaints in 2020.
From March to December 2019, the portal received 790 complaints. In 2020 (from January to December), when online commerce and banking activity increased due to the lockdown, the complaints received on the portal shot up to 3,938. In 2021, till date, as many as 1,368 complaints have been received.
The portal was started with an aim to have a specialised team to enact all measures required to help detect and act on cyber-crimes as soon as possible through focused coordination.
Of the total 6,106 complaints received from March 2019 till date, half were related to banking and financial defrauding, while 30% were against vishing fraudsters impersonating mainly as wine shop employees and customer care representatives. The remaining 20% relate to other frauds like fake lottery messages, impersonation of government officials, job portals and matrimonial sites.
“After receiving complaints on the anti-phishing portal, we forward them to the concerned police commissionerate or district police for further action. In cases where FIR is registered, we can also contact the concerned network service provider, search engine or social media platform to block the mobile number or phishing links, website etc being used by cyber-fraudsters,” an official said.
Sources in the cyber-police department said that the complaints on which FIRs are not registered are not taken seriously by network service providers and social media platforms, which creates serious hurdles in removing the fraudulent links and mobile numbers from the platforms.