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Safeguarding Cyberspace: MHA’s Initiative for a “Cyber Safe India” Under PM Modi’s Leadership

In the era of digital connectivity, ensuring a secure cyberspace is a top priority for the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the strategic guidance of Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah. The pursuit of building a “Cyber Safe India” is at the forefront of their agenda, with concerted efforts to combat cybercrime and shield citizens from evolving cyber threats.

Guided by Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah, the MHA has intensified its commitment to curbing cybercrime, advocating for citizen awareness, and creating a robust cybersecurity infrastructure. A pivotal initiative in this direction is the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), designed to address cyber threats in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.

Recently, the I4C, through its National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit (NCTAU), identified and recommended the blocking of over 100 websites involved in organized investment and task-based frauds. These websites, operating under the guise of part-time job opportunities, were found to be orchestrated by overseas actors, leveraging digital advertisements, chat messengers, and mule accounts.

The M/o Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), empowered by the Information Technology Act, of 2000, promptly blocked these websites to mitigate the risk posed by such fraudulent activities. Investigations revealed that the proceeds from these economic crimes were being laundered out of India using various channels, including card networks, cryptocurrency, overseas ATM withdrawals, and international Fintech companies.

These frauds typically follow a pattern:

  1. Targeted digital advertisements are launched on platforms like Google and Meta, enticing individuals with keywords like “Ghar baithe job” and “Ghar baidhe kamai kaise karen” in multiple languages.
  2. Victims, often retirees, women, and unemployed youth, click on the advertisements, initiating conversations with agents using WhatsApp or Telegram.
  3. The victims are convinced to perform tasks like video likes, subscribe to channels, and rate maps.
  4. After gaining the victim’s confidence, they are lured into investing larger sums, only to have their deposits frozen, leading to financial deception.

To safeguard against such cyber threats, citizens are advised to exercise due diligence before investing in high-commission online schemes, especially those promoted over the Internet. Additionally, caution is recommended when dealing with unknown individuals on messaging platforms, and verifying the legitimacy of financial transactions is essential.

To protect citizens from falling victim to such schemes, several precautionary measures are recommended:

  1. Exercise Due Diligence: Before investing in online schemes offering unusually high commissions, conduct thorough research and exercise caution.
  2. Verification before Transactions: Refrain from engaging in financial transactions with unknown persons on platforms like WhatsApp or Telegram without proper verification.
  3. Check UPI Receiver Details: Verify the name of the receiver mentioned in the UPI app. Random or unknown receivers may indicate fraudulent activity.
  4. Avoid Transactions with Unknown Accounts: Citizens should avoid transactions with unfamiliar accounts, as these could be involved in money laundering and even terror financing, leading to legal consequences.

As the government continues its efforts to secure cyberspace, the collaboration of citizens in staying vigilant and adopting secure online practices remains crucial. The proactive measures taken by the MHA, under the guidance of PM Modi and HM Amit Shah, reflect a commitment to ensuring a safer digital environment for all.

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