"Stay safe while gaming online!" alerts MHA's Cyber wing | Gaming News

"Stay safe while gaming online!" alerts MHA's Cyber wing

In response to recent frauds via gaming apps, the cyber wing of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a warning to citizens nationwide, urging them to exercise caution when engaging in online gaming.

By:ANI
| Updated on: Jan 25 2024, 12:26 IST
online gaming
Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre CEO Rajesh Kumar addresses the annual press conference at National Media Centre, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. (Hindustan Times)
online gaming
Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre CEO Rajesh Kumar addresses the annual press conference at National Media Centre, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. (Hindustan Times)

In response to recent frauds via gaming apps, the cyber wing of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a warning urging people to exercise caution when engaging in online gaming.

The Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (14C), operating under the MHA's Cyber Wing, issued a cautionary message: "Play smart, play safe - stay secure while gaming online!"

The 14C wing through the message urged people to "download online apps only from authentic sources like Google Play Store, Apple Store and Official Websites."

The 14C also advised to "always check game app publishers' information in order to ensure website legitimacy."

The cyber security wing warned to "never fell in the trap of game in-app purchase and lucrative subscription offers."

It has suggested to exercise caution while "sharing personal information in chats or forums, as scammers can use social media tactics to manipulate players."

"Allow only relevant and necessary permissions while downloading app," it further recommended.

In case of online fraud, the I4C suggests to dial 1930--the cybercrime helpline number.

The Centre blocked a total of 581 apps till December 15 last year and out of these, there were 174 betting and gambling apps and 87 loan lending apps. These Apps were blocked by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on recommendations of the MHA.

These apps were blocked under section 69A of the IT Act, 2000. These gaming applications included PUBG, GArena Free Fire.

Notably, in July last year, the Centre had amended the IGST Act, making it mandatory for all offshore gaming companies to be registered in India. Furthermore, the act also gave the Centre the power to block websites that are not registered and are violating laws.

The betting platforms were collecting UPI payments through proxy bank accounts and the amount accumulated in proxy accounts is being remitted through hawala, crypto and other illegal routes.

Apart from Mahadev, some of the apps that were banned include Parimatch, Fairplay, 1XBET, Lotus365, Dafabet and Betwaysatta. Many of these are on the banned list and some were operating illegally in India.

Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also said that more than 500 Internet-based applications have been blocked on the recommendation of the I4C.

Shah had made the statement while reviewing the functioning of the I4C, along with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, and said that the Centre has prepared an analytical report of the modus operandi of the top 50 cyberattacks in the country.

The government has taken several initiatives for cyber security and in the coming days, nearly 70 per cent of the criminal justice system which includes prisons and courts, will be online, Shah added then.

More than 20 lakh cyber-crime complaints have been registered on the portal cybercrime.gov.in, based on which more than 40,000 FIRs have been registered, said Shah, adding "13 crore hits were registered on this portal since its launch in January 2020."

As per a report collated by the 14C wing, on an average, more than 5,000 cybercrime complaints are registered per day.

The report mentioned the growth of 113.7 per cent cybercrime complaints from 2021 to 2022, and 60.9 per cent from 2022 to 2023.

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First Published Date: 25 Jan, 12:24 IST
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