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India and many developing countries worldwide are facing a rapid rise of such online scams due to technological advancements and the new tricks that such fraudsters keep coming up with.


India and many developing countries worldwide are facing a rapid rise of such online scams due to technological advancements and the new tricks that such fraudsters keep coming up with.

So, it becomes very difficult to catch hold of such potential fraudsters. Therefore, one should know about such circumstances to avoid falling into such a trap, and the victims should know what needs to be done in such situations.

Individuals must stay informed about current events and avoid falling prey to cyber-fraudsters who constantly come up with new ways to plunder people.

Most of the time, officials advise people to exercise caution when investing online to avoid being taken advantage of. They also advise people to be cautious when responding to unsolicited messages online and to avoid clicking on links from unknown or spam numbers. The most common way for people to fall victim to these types of scams is by responding to messages that seem to offer rewards or prizes but are traps.

India is a developing country with a sharp shift in digital and technological advancements in recent years. Everything is currently performed online, including shopping, banking, and filling out college applications. This makes it easier for consumers to do business and complete transactions while lounging at home rather than visiting these locations in person. [1]

However, this quick expansion has also brought about a sharp rise in online fraud, which has caused a great deal of difficulties for a select group of people. It is still unclear to individuals who lack education or are not as informed what circumstances constitute when they fall victim to frauds of this nature.

These groups occasionally get notifications suggesting they have won something as a result of entering a contest or lucky draw. They click on the links as a consequence, become victims of fraud, and lose their hard-earned money.

Online scams are becoming quite common these days; where victims tend to lose hundreds or even crores of money to these anonymous, deceitful people. Scammers continue to come up with new and inventive ways to con people that such consumers would never have thought of, which leads to an endless stream of victims. Some types of Online scams include- work-from-home scams, review scams, phishing scams, etc.

The most recent scam that has been going on involves calling relatives to claim that their child has sexually assaulted females and that police have arrived to take one of the accused youngsters into custody. So, they call the family members and say that if they provide the specified money, these individuals are going to prevent their child from being detained.


The most common forms of scams that have been happening at present in India include the[2]

  • Phishing Scams in which such scammers use phone calls, texts, or emails to pose as reputable businesses (banks, government organizations), fool individuals into divulging personal information, or click on links that lead to the theft of financial information. [3]
  • UPI Scams in which such fraudsters trick the users of such interfaces into sharing their UPI PINs or clicking on links that initiate unauthorized transactions, then such users lose their money.
  • Scams through social media, where such scammers end up making fake profiles of existing users, taking over the existing profiles, or spreading misinformation about the individual whose profile has been taken over. They might pose as renowned individuals, sell phoney goods, or hold shady online competitions to earn money.


The Information Technology Act of 2000 is primarily a relatively new law that is constantly being updated through the medium of amendments to take into account the rapid advancement of technology. The IT Act tells us about the various cyber crimes and also the legal action that can be taken against them.

It covers a wide range of activities such as hacking, tampering with computer source code, publishing obscene information online, cyber terrorism against government organizations, possession of unauthorized information, etc.

Other than this we have, the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 which has replaced the Indian Penal Code of 1860.

This law addresses a broad variety of punishable acts, including rape, abatement, affray, forgery, murder, theft, and criminal intimidation. It is commonly recognized that many offences covered by the IT, Act, and IPC occur simultaneously and overlap.

Here are a few instances of the same:

Sections 43 and 66 of the IT Act address theft and hacking. However, data theft, whether it occurs online or not, is also covered under Section 378 of the IPC. Section 66C of the IT Act covers identity theft and personation as additional forms of identity theft.

Additionally, there are penalties for “cheating by personation employing computer resource” under section 66D of the IT Act and “cheating by personation” under section 419 of the IPC.[4]

In a very recent Judgment of the Bombay High Court, it has been held that the Information Technology Act of 2000 is considered to be a Special act over cybercrimes, and has an overriding effect over the IPC, 1860. This is the principle of “Lex specialis”. However, in cases where the offences have not been adequately addressed under the IT Act, then IPC will take over them.


What steps can be taken to avoid falling victim to cybercrime, and what should you do in a situation, when you do end up as a victim of such a scam?


A person would be sure that the website is a legitimate website before registering to it and be able to identify its URL. In case of suspicion, one should always try to avoid being a user of such a website. We also notice a safety notification widely appears nowadays and has become quite common, which pops up when we click to access certain websites. Avoiding anonymous messages and texts is another step that should also be made sure of. Since these are the most common ways to target people.

As a victim of cybercrime, one should not ignore the situation and instead make it a point to take the required steps to attempt to apprehend those responsible. The first thing you should do is register with the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal, which offers a comprehensive reporting guide, and make a complaint about this kind of online fraud. This may aid in making up for the losses. Making a complaint directly to the police station is another such option.

The Government and private organizations should try and organize awareness campaigns in schools and colleges, and at the same time also in the remote areas. This is to ensure that people are aware of what is going on around the world, and the technological developments and take the opportunity to guide and make them know about these developed and scheming ways of theft which have been happening. This is because most of the people becoming victims of such cybercrime are people from rural areas who lack education and therefore become easy targets.

A two-factor authentication should be promoted along with using stronger passwords to access accounts. This will help in reducing the number of such cyber frauds by providing the account holders strong control and security.

Moreover, a person should always try and avoid disclosing personal details of oneself at any untrustworthy or new platform unless it becomes extremely essential to do so.

Author(s) Name: Ritika Khanna (University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun)


[1] Divya Bhati, ‘Online scam on rise in India, here is what to do if you end up losing money to fraudsters’, <> accessed 11 June 2024

[2] Divya Bhati, ‘Online scam on rise in India, here is what to do if you end up losing money to fraudsters’, <> Accessed 11 June 2024

[3] Tim Tran, “The Types of Online Scams”(keepersecurity, 28 November 2023)<> accessed 18 June 2024

[4] Vinod Joseph & Deeya Ray, “Cyber Crimes Under The IPC And IT Act – An Uneasy Co-Existence”(Mondaq, 10 February 2020),<—an-uneasy-co-existence> Accessed 14 June 2023