Maharashtra cyber's anti-phishing unit received 5,226 complaints in two years
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Mumbai: The Maharashtra Cyber's Anti Phishing Unit has recorded a total of 5,226 phishing complaints on their website since its inception in March 2019, till last month, of which more than 50 per cent were banking frauds. While 2,663 complaints of banking frauds were registered, lottery, job portal and investment frauds were the other major complaints.

Sanjay Shintre, Superintendent of Police (SP), Maharashtra Cyber said, “A number of social media posts are flagged off as malicious based on several hashtags, algorithms and key words. While most of these posts do not get turned into a formal complaint, as the user does not want to pursue the matter, such is not the case when it comes down to phishing.”

SP Shintre said that cyber fraudsters used several pretexts to dupe netizens, of which major frauds were related to banking sector. The numbers of cases were followed by lottery frauds, job portal scam, investment schemes and government notifications with 343, 266, 173 and 152 cases registered respectively. While matrimonial frauds and frauds in the name of security personnel stood at 46 and 37 complaints respectively, other phishing fraud complaints made over 1,576 cases.

The anti-phishing unit, established to help report, resolve, curb and spread awareness against phishing in March 2019, has successfully blocked more than 3,500 websites. In the last two years, between March 2019 and March 2021, over 5,226 complaints were received from users, who were approached via various channels-- SMS, calls, emails, website links or in the name of Know Your Customer (KYC) update.

A senior Cyber official said that while phishing cases cannot be registered with Maharashtra Cyber, they do take down the post/block the website, and forward the complaint to the respective local police stations to do the further probe. SP Shintre said that if a user comes across a phishing website, post or message, they should immediately alert the portal, www.reportphishing.in, which aims to bring all the stakeholder agencies like banks, payment gateways and telecom service providers under one roof and alert them about trends in complaints.

With an otherwise low detection rate of cyber-crimes, this portal acts instantly and redresses the problems at a timely basis. While phishing, vishing, bank frauds, matrimonial frauds are some of the cases dealt here. The website has been designed in such a manner that it is easily accessible and understood. The victim is only expected to fill in their details, phone number, email id, type of fraud, the number/email is of the accused.

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