Cybercriminals Impersonating Banks, Law enforcement or Army

Person Holding Dollar Bills while Using a Calculator

In the digital age, cybercrimes have become increasingly prevalent, affecting individuals, businesses, and even government institutions. One disturbing trend is the impersonation of law enforcement agencies by criminals. These cybercriminals exploit people’s trust in authorities to carry out fraudulent activities. Let’s delve into this issue and explore how it impacts India.

Common Threats & Techniques


KYC Frauds:

Victims are contacted via SMS, e-mails or phone to inform them that their KYC has expired, and their services would be blocked if their personal information such as Aadhar number, bank account numbers etc. are not shared.

Once this information is shared, it is used to open new accounts or steal money from existing accounts of the victims.


Impersonating police:

Cybercriminals dupe their victims by posing as a Police officer and threaten the victims by saying an arrest warrant is issued against them and the victim needs to transfer money to a different officer to drop the case. 


Impersonating utility service companies:

Victims are sent SMS stating that they have not paid their electricity bills and that their service would be blocked if payment is not made immediately. They often send a short link which directs the victim to a malicious site from where his bank account details are stolen.


Impersonating Army:

Cybercriminals take advantage of respect and trust that people of have on armed forces and often impersonate army officers to conduct cybercrime on marketplaces for selling used goods.

Types of Impersonation


Fake Calls and Emails:

Criminals pose as police officers, tax officials, or other law enforcement personnel. They contact victims via phone calls or emails, claiming there’s an ongoing investigation or legal issue. They demand money or personal information, threatening dire consequences if the victim doesn’t comply.


Phishing Scams:

Impersonators create fake websites or emails that appear to be from legitimate government agencies. They ask victims to verify their personal details, such as Aadhaar numbers, PAN cards, or bank account information. Unsuspecting individuals fall prey to these scams, compromising their sensitive data.


Social Engineering:

Cybercriminals manipulate victims into believing they’re assisting a genuine investigation. They may ask victims to transfer funds to a specific account or share confidential information. The pretext often involves catching criminals or preventing a security breach.

Impact and Consequences


Financial Loss:

Victims lose money due to fraudulent transactions or extortion. Impersonators exploit fear and urgency to coerce victims into paying up.


Identity Theft:

Personal information shared with fake law enforcement officials can lead to identity theft. Criminals use this data for further illegal activities.


Psychological Trauma:

Victims experience anxiety, fear, and stress when dealing with impersonators. The emotional toll can be severe.


Safety Tips against Cyber Fraud



Do not share personal information over the phone or email or do not send money without verifying the caller’s authenticity.



Report incidents promptly to the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C)1. I4C acts as a nodal point for curbing cybercrime in the country.


Verify the identity:

Always verify the identity of the person you’re communicating with, especially if they’re requesting personal or sensitive information. If you receive an unexpected call, email, or message from someone claiming to be from a legitimate organization, ask for their contact details and verify them independently.


Use official channels:

When dealing with businesses or organizations, use official channels of communication such as verified phone numbers, email addresses, or websites. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unsolicited emails or messages.


Be cautious with personal information:

Avoid sharing personal or financial information with unknown individuals or organizations, especially if they contact you unexpectedly. Legitimate companies will not ask for sensitive information such as passwords, Social Security numbers, or banking details via email or phone.


Stay updated on common scams:

Stay informed about common impersonation scams by regularly checking news updates, official warnings from government agencies, and alerts from financial institutions. Awareness of the latest scams can help you recognize suspicious activity.


Secure your accounts:

Use strong, unique passwords for your online accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a code sent to your phone or email in addition to your password for login.

Cyber Fraud on News:

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