How to file a complaint for cybercrimes?

Crime in general can be understood as any act declared unlawful through the law of the nation. When such an unlawful act is committed through technical platforms like a computer or communication device or computer network as a facility, it is called cybercrime. Examples of cybercrimes include child pornography, financial fraud, cyberstalking, bullying, identity theft,
etc.
Since the internet and the abovementioned communication means have become too handy in recent years, the instances of crimes through these means have also risen. The National Cybercrime Complaint Portal came into operation on August 30, 2019, as a centralized mechanism introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs for online cybercrime reporting. As per the PIB report dated March 9, 2021, a total of 317439 cybercrime incidents were reported till February 28, 2021. The number includes 21562 cybercrime complaints resulting in 87 FIRs registered in Karnataka, and 50806 cybercrime complaints, and 534 FIRs registered in Maharashtra.

How Can I Report Cybercrime in India?

When it is about a complaint against a crime, victims or their related persons are supposed to reach out to nearest police stations to report the crime. This path can also be followed for cybercrime complaint in India. However, there are other ways as well, i.e. the cybercrime complaint portal. It is a special platform for online cybercrime reporting where victims can lodge complaints regardless of their location within minutes. The process of ‘how to register cybercrime complaint online’ also reveals that cybercrime complaint portal allows anonymous complaints as well. Hence, victim is not necessarily required to reveal their identity in case the matter involves instances of child pornography, sexting, etc. They can also register complaint
in cyber cell. Registration of cybercrime complaints, depending upon the facts, is registered as an FIR by the authorities and taken up further. If things reach the trial phase, parties to the case, i.e. complainant and the suspect/ accused shall need cybercrime lawyer for legal assistance.

How to Register Complaint in Cyber Cell?

For ease of victims of cybercrimes in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs has provided various ways to register their complaints. They can visit the district cyber cell as per their location which shall also decide the jurisdiction, However, online cybercrime reporting can also be done through the cybercrime complaint portal. The complainant can also connect with the concerned authorities through cyber cell helpline number, i.e.1930.

How to Register Cybercrime Complaint Online?

Given below are the steps to be followed by victims for online cybercrime reporting:

  • Visit the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal at cybercrime.gov.in
  •  For women/ child related crimes, click on the button. You may also report anonymously, i.e. without revealing your identity
  • Otherwise, click on the ‘Report Other Cybercrime’ button.
  • Another page will open which allows you to have more information about cybercrimes.
    Here, click on the ‘File a complaint’ button.
  • This will lead to another page which requires visitors to read some FAQs and acknowledge the conditions over information provided hereby. Click on the ‘I Accept’ button.
  • The next page for online cybercrime reporting is for ‘Citizen Login’. Here, the visitors have to click on the ‘Click Here for New User’ button if they are complaining about cybercrimes for the first time.
  • You have to select your state, enter your login ID (you can also enter your email ID), mobile number and click on ‘Get OTP’ button. You will receive a one-time-password (OTP) which has to be entered in the box that follows.
  • Enter the captcha code which requires easy calculations and then click on ‘Submit’ button.
  • Next, complainant details, i.e. the person against whom a cybercrime took place, have to be entered.
  • Select the category of crime from the list provided. If your facts do not fall in any of the specific cybercrimes, select any other crime option.
  • You will have to provide details of the incident as to when and where the cybercrime took place, etc. Make sure to provide all the details in options that are marked with a red star. Others can be skipped to move further with the ‘Save and Next’ button.
  • The next page gives the option of providing details if the complainant suspects the cybercrime offender.
  • Next, the victim/ complainant for cybercrimes and Police Station details have to be entered carefully based on the jurisdiction as per the area where cybercrime took place.
  • Save and Preview the details, acknowledge that the details provided thereby are all true. After submission, an ‘Acknowledgement Number’ or the cyber cell complaint number will pop-up on the screen which is important for any further step. It will be received through messages as well.
  • Status reports will also be shared with the complainant through text messages.

Evident Documents for Cybercrime Complaints

Just like an FIR, cybercrime complaints also require the victims to provide certain evidence (proofs) to prove the incidence and how it falls within the ambit of crime. Given below is the evidence that a complainant may be required while lodging a cybercrime complaint online or otherwise:

  • Copy of Incidence
  • Screenshots of the incident (For example, Email, WhatsApp chats, URLs)
  • Bank statements in case of financial fraud
  • Copyright certificate
  • Transaction details
  • Email ID/ phone number used for communication
  • Copy of SMSs
  • Any other document which supports the complainant’s version

This was an attempt to make readers aware of how to register a complaint in a cyber cell in the easiest way possible. In this high-tech world where the latest gadgets are found even in the pockets of citizens who otherwise fall under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category, regulation of communication modes is a must. Users must be aware of the possible cybercrimes
and protect themselves from any kind of harm, be it finances, reputation, physical or mental health, etc.

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