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Cyber Law To Prevent Upsurge of Online Scams and Frauds In India

The 21st century or what most people call the era of technology has been seeing an upsurge for many years in which computers and smartphones are crucial resources for all kinds of personal and


The 21st century or what most people call the era of technology has been seeing an upsurge for many years in which computers and smartphones are crucial resources for all kinds of personal and non-personal activities, they have been used by industrialists and students. Everyone has become dependent on this technology and all this has led to a computer-based world of the internet which has got a term called “Cyberspace” and the laws around it are called “Cyber Law”. But all this rise in technology has created a new world of crime which we all know as “Online Scams or Frauds” carried out by people whom we call “scammers” who can steal people’s money in various ways. Through this blog, we are going to see online scams or frauds from a legal perspective and devise solutions for the same.

What is a Cyber Crime?

Before we began devising plans and discussing online scams and frauds we need to understand the legal definition of cybercrime which is “Any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device, or any other related device can be considered a cybercrime”.  There are various motives to commit cybercrime, some instances are like committing a crime to generate profit, disabling the targeted device to fulfilling vendetta, and spreading malware, illegal information, images, etc through computer networks and online scams and frauds fall under the category of generating profit.

Recent cases of Online Scams and Fraud

All this shows us the vulnerable condition our country is in where people are getting scammed regularly this also shows how our country needs the spread awareness regarding these crimes and cyber law which can help them to get justice.

Top Fraud Threat in India

One of the biggest threats that fraud present is to the system of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) as transactions take place at a whirlwind pace. One of the issues is that the transactions that occur here hardly go through any authentication check, making users more vulnerable to fraud. Even if verification happens sometimes it’s difficult to catch on the fraud as the scammer manipulates the victim to authorize the payments themselves, which makes this case elusive to catch on and prevent. Due to a lack of awareness customers also may not know the risks of this type of payment which is equally concerning. According to the FICO Survey, Indian customers were the most aware of the threat of UPI which is 15% much higher than the USA(4%), the Uk(7%), Indonesia(3%), and Thailand(8%). And as more Indians are starting to use UPI more speedy preventive measures are required.

Cyber Laws in India

One of the leading Cyber Laws in India is the “Information and Technology Act of 2000” which was notified on 17 October 2000 and states “To provide Legal Recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as electronic methods of communication and storage of information, to facilitate electronic filing of documents with the government agencies and further amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act 1872  which states that “after the amendment electronic records will fall under documentary evidence category of the said act”, Banker’s  Book Evidence Act 1891 which states that “after the amendment, its meaning expanded the meaning and scope of bankers books to include computer documents, files, and external storage. Now any banking-related evidence can be produced in electronic format with no requirement for paperwork”. and the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934 also states that “This shall be amended in the manner specified in the Fourth Schedule to this Act”. and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” And if the IT Act is not sufficient to cover specific cyber laws then Indian Penal Code(IPC) 1860 can be used.

Landmark Cases Regarding Cyber Crime

Some of the most significant case laws and judgments really helped to under the basic principles of cybercrime and how to prevent it. Some of them are as follows:

  • Poona Auto Ancillaries Pvt. Ltd., Pune v. Punjab National Bank, HO New Delhi & Others (2018): In this case, a scammer transferred 80.10 lakhs from a person named “Manmohan Singh Matharu” after the latter answered a phishing mail and the court ordered the bank to recompensate him as there were no security checks conducted against fraudulent accounts opened at the bank to fraud a customer.
  • Kumar v. Whiteley (1991):  Kumar the wrongdoer got access to the Joint Academic Network(JANET) in an unauthorized manner and he added, deleted, and changed files using the BSNL network. The court sentenced Kumar to rigorous imprisonment for a year and a fine of 5000 as he used broadband internet to commit cyber crimes.
  • Kalandi Charan Lenka v. the State of Odisha(2017): In this case, the victim received obscene messages from the wrongdoer which damaged her reputation, and also created a fake account on Facebook and uploaded proctored images of her. The court sentenced the wrongdoer under cyberstalking and section 354D of IPC which includes the provision regarding stalking and cyberstalking and provides punishment for the same.
  • Anil Kumar Srivastava v. Addl Director, MHFW (2005): In this case, the petitioner forged the signature of the additional director and made a case of false allegations against the same individual the court held the wrongdoer under section 465 for forgery and section 471 for trying to pass off the document as something genuine.

Preventions Against Online Scams And Frauds

  • Refrain from sharing vulnerable details: It’s one of the simplest tasks we can use to prevent scammers from duping us. We need to make sure that we are not indulging in sharing our personal and vulnerable details like banking details etc to anonymous sources or strangers.
  • Sharing of OTP: One of the common mistake people makes is sharing their OTP with anyone which makes them an easy target for scammers. Hence, we need to make sure we just don’t share our OTP with anyone as OTP can lead them to access our vulnerable information.
  • Legal Actions: As discussed above there are various provisions in IPC and IT Act regarding cyber crime like:
  • Section 43: Individuals who indulge in cyber crimes such as damage to the victim’s computer without their consent then the wrongdoer needs to refund the damage.
  • Section 66: If someone acts in any dishonest or fraudulent manner regarding the matter falling under sec 43 he/she can be imprisoned for three years and fined up to five lakhs.
  • Section 292: whoever sells obscene materials like child pornography, animal harm, etc will be charged under this section and imprisoned for two years with and fine of two thousand.
  • Section 468: if someone commits fraud with the intention of cheating will fall under this section with a punishment being imprisoned for seven years and a fine.
  • Updating Passwords: Make sure to update your password as the same and constant password can be easily hacked and used to steal vulnerable details hence updating the password does not give rise to this grim occasion.
  • Use of AI and Machine Learning: AI and Machine Learning – driven technologies can be used for scams and fraud detection which can help in finding and preventing fraud by analyzing customer data these technologies detecting accuracy can be increased.

With all these measures we can surely catch these scammers efficiently and bring justice to the victims.


With the advancement of technology, we are not only moving towards the digital era which will prove to be only a boon to us as technology is a double-edged sword and is going to carry the grim and disturbing elements which will be a tool for evil deeds done by people for their evil motives and financial gain. Hence to put a stop to this there is a strong need for efficient cyber laws from the tenacious efforts of rulers and lawmakers. The increasing reliance on technology in India is going to lead to more challenges in the future as scammers will find new ways to carry around their frauds and scams so it’s also the responsibility of Indian citizens to beware of these issues as the only way to the growth of online safety can take place when all the stakeholders concur with each other and this will lead to a safe and secure digital India we all envisioned.

Author(s) Name: Utsav Biswas (Gujarat National Law University, Silvassa)