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  4. FACT CHECK: Users are receiving mails from govt-affiliated cyber crime unit threatening action. Are they real?

FACT CHECK: Users are receiving mails from govt-affiliated cyber crime unit threatening action. Are they real?

A mail claiming to be from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre is requesting users to respond to alleged court orders against them and threatening legal action.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee Published on: August 10, 2023 22:28 IST
Users are receiving mails by a cyber crime unit warning of
Image Source : INDIA TV Users are receiving mails by a cyber crime unit warning of legal action

At a time when cyber crimes are on a rise, several police units have established their own cyber crime cells. The Ministry of Electronics and IT have also launched a cyber crime reporting portal. In the midst of all this, many users have reported receiving mails from an organisation called the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, claiming to be affiliated with the Indian Police Service (IPS). Are they real? India TV's fact check team conducted an investigation.

What does the mail say?

According to a screenshot shared on social media, users are receiving a mail from an apparent cyber crime department seeking responses for "alleged court orders" and threatening serious legal action against them.

"The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre of the Indian Police Service immediately requests you to respond to the alleged Court Order hereunder attached against you," the mail reads.

It further says, "The Police Intelligence Bureau functions through a cybercrime Special unit that handles all complex and sensitive cases of Cyber crimes, including those in which victims are women and children. The Cyber Crime Coordination Centre is equipped with a State-of-the-Art Laboratory having Cyber Forensic capabilities such as extraction of deleted data from Hard Disks and mobile phones, imaging and hash value calculation, forensic servers, portable forensic tools for on-site examination, facility to extract data from latest Android and iOS phones as well as Chinese phones."

The mail also tells the user that "failure to reciprocate" to the "court mandate within 24-48 hours will result in serious legal action". The mail is signed by Rajesh Kumar, CEO of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre. Users have also been threatened by police action in other mails.

India Tv - A screenshot of the mail

Image Source : INDIA TVA screenshot of the mail

Truth behind the mails

Based on the information, India TV's fact check team started the investigation by searching Rajesh Kumar's name in the 'Contact Us' section of the official cyber crime website of the Centre. No information could be obtained by that name in the list. 

After careful analysis of the purported mail, we saw that it came from cyberalets.org, while a government mail generally has "gov.in" extension attached to it. Even so, we searched the cyber alert URL mentioned in the mail on Google and were unable to locate an official domain. 

When we visited the Press Information Bureau (PIB), we came across a tweet on X, formerly known as Twitter, which said that the mail was fake. In short, users are receiving fake mails of cyber crime action against them which are in no way related to the Central government.

It is, however, worth mentioning that there is actually an organisation called the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) by the Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with cyber crime across the country. However, these mails have been confirmed to not belong to this agency.

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