This article on ‘How to Register a Complaint with the Cyber Cell in India?’ was written by Amruta Patil, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
The Internet as we know plays a key role in our lives. The accessibility of the internet has opened new possibilities for growth and development. With the host of benefits, also comes the risk of the technology being misused. The amalgamation of crime with the assistance of the internet has opened the possibility to commit a crime by hiding behind the garb of anonymity.
Identity theft, fraud emails, financial frauds, hacking, and online job fraud are a few on the long list of crimes that occur using the Internet. With that being said we cannot completely banish the use of computers or devices with internet access but one can tread carefully in the cyber world.
With correct measures, one can prevent the prospect of the happening of such incidents. The following article offers a guide on how and where to register a complaint with the cyber cell when one becomes a victim of cybercrime.
The meaning of Cybercrime
Cybercrime is a kind of crime that is committed using the help of computers or devices which have access to the internet. The majority of cybercrime, though not all of it, is conducted by hackers or cybercriminals who wish to profit. An individual or an organization can commit cybercrime. There are organized, technologically proficient, and cutting-edge cybercriminals. Some hackers lack experience.
Computer harm for non-monetary reasons is a rare goal of cybercrime. These may be personal or political.
The types of Cyber Crimes
The crimes can be divided into three categories-
- Individual –This kind of cybercrime comprises a single person spreading harmful or illegal material over the internet and digital applications. Examples of this type of cybercrime include pornography distribution and trafficking
- Property –A real-world instance when a criminal illegally retains bank or credit card information is comparable to this cybercrime. To earn money, the hacker obtains a person’s bank account information. They may also conduct online phishing schemes to trick individuals into giving them personal information.
- Government- Despite being the least common cybercrime, it is the most serious wrongdoing. Cyberterrorism also refers to cybercrimes committed against the government. Hacking into government websites, military websites, or disseminating propaganda are all examples of government cybercrime.
Guide to Register a Complaint with the Cyber Cell in India
As it is difficult to pinpoint a particular region from which the crime is being committed, the IT Act declared cybercrime as a part of global jurisdiction, allowing the complaint to be filed at any cybercrime cell. The cyber cells allow the aggrieved to file either online or offline by approaching the nearest cyber cell unit. The steps are:
1- Offline Method
The steps to register a Complaint with the Cyber Cell via Offline mode are as follows:
- Step 1- The party affected can approach the nearest cyber cell with a written complaint addressing the Head of the Cybercrime Cell of your city.
- Step 2- The complaint is to be submitted along with the necessary documents and details such as the name, email address, and phone number.
- Step 3 – Depending on the nature of the crime the aggrieved would be asked for documents such as email thread or SMS, Screenshots, etc which would help in resolving the matter.
- Step 4- Most cities in India have a dedicated unit dealing with cybercrimes. In case there are no such cells the complaint can be filed in form of an FIR under section 154 of the Indian Penal Code irrespective of the jurisdiction at the local Police Station.
2- Online Method
One can also file a cyber complaint by reaching the website which was launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs launched on the 30th of August 2019. The site focuses more on the crimes committed against women, child sex abuse, and content about rapes and gang rape. The National Cyber Cell Portal can be accessed through the following link – https://cybercrime.gov.in/
- Visit the website by clicking on the above link.
- Click on the option “File Complaint” and accept the terms and conditions.
- Create a user account.
- Choose citizen login and mention the details asked such as state, username, mobile number, etc.
- An OTP is received on the number registered on the portal which is then to be entered.
- Clicking on the “Submit” would then lead the user to the next page which has 4 parts they are-
- Incident detail- fill in the information regarding the incident.
- Suspect detail- under this section the name, identity, screenshot, email, or photograph to be submitted.
- Complaint detail- in this section the details of the complaint name, address, email, etc are to be filed.
- Purview and Submit- once all the necessary details are filled click and submit the same.
The complainant can also download the complaint in PDF form for further reference.
It is understood now that committing a crime with the help of networks and devices has become easier than we think. By simply sitting behind a screen one execute a crime of dire consequences which is why one must be very careful when sharing information of any personal or professional kind. Following are a few suggestions that can be implemented in our everyday activities while using the internet or devices with the internet.
- Be cautious when opening attachments on emails, especially from an unknown sender.
- Installing Anti-Virus and other such security tools to be protected from any malware attacks
- Be careful when sharing content, pictures, or any such sensitive information unless it is a secure portal.
- Being vigilant when performing online transactions, setting strong passwords, etc can be implemented to stay safe.
As for a prolific crop, the pest is unavoidable similarly to a prolific world crime is unavoidable. One can say that cybercriminals have a distinguishing feature of being wisp of smoke in the air, ubiquitous, and difficult to catch or get a hold of.
The initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs of launching an online portal that allows us to report the incident is the need of the hour. This initiative in helping to reduce the number of criminal activities which take place in cyberspace. The above article has provided a step-by-step guide that would help one navigate through the process of filing a complaint in a cyber cell.
- News18, (2020, January 11th ) “National Cyber Crime Cell Reporting Portal Launched For Citizens to Report Cyber Crimes Online” https://www.news18.com/news/tech/national-cyber-crime-reporting-portal-launched-for-citizens-to-report-cyber-crimes-online-2454259.html
- Gadgets Now(2022, Aug 13th) “How to File a Cyber Crime Complaint online in India” https://www.gadgetsnow.com/how-to/how-to-file-a-cyber-crime-complaint-online-in-india/articleshow/93537529.cms
- Isha Upadhyay (2022, June 16th) “20 Important types of Cyber Crime to Know in 2022” https://www.jigsawacademy.com/blogs/cyber-security/types-of-cyber-crime/
- Bajaj Finserv “Filing a complaint on cybercrime: A Guide” https://www.bajajfinserv.in/insights/filling-a-complaint-on-cyber-crime-cell-a-guide
- Deeksha(2021, December 9th) “Role of Cyber Cell In India” https://getlegalindia.com/cyber-crime-cell/#Steps_to_file_Cyber_Crime_Complaint
- Kaspersky “Tips on how to protect yourself against cybercrime” https://www.kaspersky.co.in/resource-center/threats/what-is-cybercrime
- Swati Shalini(2019, September 19th) “what is cybercrime in India and How to File Cyber Crime Complaints?” https://www.myadvo.in/blog/how-to-file-a-cyber-crime-complaint-with-cyber-cell-in-india/
- Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty(2022, June 25th) “How to Register a Cyber Crime Complaint ” https://lawrato.com/indian-kanoon/cyber-crime-law/how-to-register-a-cyber-crime-complaint-257#h3Heading5