In a commendable move, Karnataka Police has set up a special help desk to attend to Cyber Crimes involving financial crimes.
The Cybercrime Incident Report system, with a call center responding to calls at 112, will be an information-based Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) mechanism.
According to the Bangalore Commissioner, Mr Kamal Pant, the system will alert banks and internet services within around two hours, the golden period, to block a transaction or a social media account reported to be linked to a cyber offence.
The control room officials will soon alert the nodal officers of concerned banks and service providers. The basic purpose would be to stop further transactions because we have a two hour period to block and reverse transactions with banks. This is the basic objective.
Mr Pant has stated that this is like filing an FIR and “What we are proposing is that wherever a person is located and gets an intimation of an illegal financial transaction, then he can intimate us in real-time,.”.
This was a long felt need since Banks were not addressing the reported frauds properly and were driving away the customers who were made to shunt between multiple Police Stations. Banks have not been alert in immediately stopping the payment at the other end of the fraudulent fund transfer and this system will now bring pressure on them to act.
Most Cyber Crimes can be frustrated if the criminal is not allowed to withdraw the money at the receiving end.
Though Police is talking of a “Golden Hour”, with 24 hour ATM network, criminals can withdraw cash transferred in a fraud within a very short time. Often such frauds occur in the middle of the night and hopefully this call center will work round the clock.
RBI also has to ensure that night withdrawals (Say 10.00 pm to 6.00 am) are made subject to additional verification such as a second factor authentication. RBI should also classify ATMs based on their location and identify priority ATMs such as those within Airports which may be given some exemptions for night operation. Since entry to airports is subject to some verification, the risks are less.
What is not clear but could have been already introduced is that the incident report may be converted into an FIR with least formalities so that the complainant does not encounter any harassment.
Recently cyber crimes are on the increase in E Commerce platforms like OLX. Both Banks and such platforms need to ensure that there are security controls to verify buyers and sellers so that frauds can be traced efficiently.
P.S: Outside Bangalore, the MHA has set up a call center number 155260 for a similar purpose.