Mains Practice Question


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What is ‘digital arrest’? What steps are taken by the government to counter online fraud and cybercriminals?


A Simple Introduction about digital arrest

Online fraudsters often call potential victims, claiming they have sent or are receiving a parcel with illegal items. Sometimes, they contact the target’s relatives, alleging the target is involved in a crime or accident. Using police images to appear legitimate, criminals demand money for a ‘compromise.’ In some cases, victims are forced to stay visible via Skype until demands are met. Cybercriminals may use studios resembling police stations and wear law enforcement-style outfits.

It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

Steps taken by the government

  • In collaboration with Microsoft, the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs, which oversees the country’s cybercrime response, has blocked over 1,000 Skype IDs associated with these operations.
  • Efforts are also underway to block SIM cards, mobile devices, and “mule” accounts utilized by cybercriminals. According to security advice on HDFC Bank’s website, money mules or “smurfers” are “innocent victims duped by fraudsters into laundering stolen/illegal money via their bank accounts.”
  • The Home Ministry is working with other ministries, agencies, the RBI, and various organizations to combat these illegal activities. I4C provides inputs and technical support to state and union territory police forces to help identify and investigate such cases.
  • To increase public awareness, I4C has shared infographics and videos on its social media platform Cyberdost, as well as on its Twitter (X), Facebook, and Instagram accounts. The Ministry urges citizens to stay vigilant and spread awareness about cybercrime.
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

The National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP) has received numerous complaints about intimidation, blackmail, extortion, and digital arrests carried out by cybercriminals impersonating officials from the police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Narcotics Department, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), among others. Intelligence services have determined that these incidents are part of a larger online economic crime racket orchestrated by cross-border crime syndicates.


Other Points to Consider 


Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre

What is cybercrime?


Previous Year Questions

1. What are the internal security challenges being faced by India? Give out the role of Central Intelligence and Investigative Agencies tasked to counter such threats. (2023)
2. What are the different elements of cyber security? Keeping in view the challenges in cyber security, examine the extent to which India has successfully developed a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy. (2022)


21-May 2024