Registering a cyber complaint

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

On occurrence of any cybercrime, the victim may register a complaint with the nearest cyber cell or the nearest police station. The victim also has the option of registering a complaint with the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal online, the respective state portals or the option of reporting objectionable content on the respective social media websites or platforms.

A. Reporting Online

1. National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal

  The victim can report the occurrence of a cybercrime online to the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal through its website https://cybercrime.gov.in. On accessing the website, if it is a child or gender specific crime, you may click on ‘REPORT WOMEN/CHILD RELATED CRIME’ option and otherwise, you may click on the ‘REPORT OTHER CYBER CRIME’ option on the Menu Bar. If you choose the first option, you will be provided with two further options: ‘REPORT ANONYMOUSLY’ and ‘REPORT AND TRACK’.
However, once a complaint is filed under ‘REPORT WOMEN/ CHILD RELATED CRIME’ it cannot be withdrawn. Complaint filed under ‘REPORT OTHER CYBER CRIME’ section can be withdrawn before it is converted into FIR.

i. Report Anonymously

If the complainant wishes to remain anonymous, this option may be selected. Here, the victim or the complainant has the option of reporting the crime anonymously by providing details of the incident as well as that of the suspect, if any.
After selecting ‘REPORT ANONYMOUSLY’ click on ‘FILE A COMPLAINT’ option. A dialogue box appears requiring an acknowledgment that the information provided is accurate to the best of your knowledge. On clicking ‘I ACCEPT’, you are giving your acknowledgment that you are aware that providing false information could make you liable to penal actions under the Indian Laws.
Process of registering your complaint:
After clicking on ‘FILE A COMPLAINT’, you will be directed to a page wherein you will be required to give details about the incident as well as the suspect.

1.      Complaint & Incident Details

a. Category of complaint: – There are four categories of complaints listed out under this. From the drop-down list, select one of the following:
(1) Child pornography or Child Sexual Abuse Material;
(2) Rape/Gang rape (sexually abuse content);
(3) Publishing or transmitting sexually obscene material in electronic form;
(4) Publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually act in electronic form.
b. Date (mandatory) & Time (optional) of the incident.
c.  In case of delay in reporting the incident, mention the reason for delay (optional).
d. State/UT in which the incident occurred.
e. District in which the crime was committed.
f.  If you know the Police Station limits in which you are residing in, mention the jurisdictional Police Station (optional).
g. Where did the incident occur? : – From the drop-down list, select the online platform in which the incident occurred. There is a comprehensive list of platforms including email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. In case of any other website or platform, mention the URL or name of the website or platform. Once you select one of the options, you also need to mention the ID of the offender in the respective platforms or url of websites (mandatory).
h. Supporting evidence: – Here, upload photos or screenshots or video giving a clear vision of the offensive content. Choose the file and add.
i. Please provide any additional information about the incident – Give a brief description of the events (a maximum of 1500 characters).
j. Click on ‘Save and next’.

ll.      Suspect Details

This is the next step in filing the complaint. It is an optional page, intended to give leads to the investigating agency. Insert name or photograph or other details of the suspect, if any. However, refrain from giving information if you are unsure about the details of the perpetrator. Click on ‘preview and next’.

lll.      Preview & Submit

Assess the preview and confirm that the details entered are accurate. By submitting the complaint, the complainant also acknowledges the fact that providing false information could make him/her liable to penal action under Indian laws. Tick the box next to ‘I Agree’. Confirm and submit.
Once the complaint is submitted online, information will be provided to the jurisdictional police station and a First Information Report will be registered on the basis of the information provided. Thereafter, criminal proceedings will be initiated and continued in the usual manner (more details under ‘Reporting Offline’). However, the complainant will not be able to track the status of his/her complaint submitted anonymously.

  1.         Report and Track

In order to track the status of the complaint online, one may opt the alternative option, that is, ‘Report and Track’. If you opt for ‘Report and Track’ you must mandatorily create a User ID with the website, creating a ‘citizen’s profile’, providing personal information including name, title, phone number, email id, date of birth, gender and name of spouse, etc. Once your profile is created, you can report any cybercrime after giving the details of the incident, suspect and that of the complainant. The process of filing the complaint is similar to that described above.  Here also, victim anonymity can be maintained if the complaint is made by a person other than the victim. You can check the status of your complaint by logging in to the website.
iii.         Report Other Cyber Crime
This option also requires you to mandatorily create a User ID with the website, creating a ‘citizen’s profile’, providing personal information including name, title, phone number, email id, date of birth, gender and name of spouse, etc. Once your profile is created, you can report any cybercrime after giving the details of the incident, suspect and that of the complainant. The process of filing the complaint is similar to that described above. You can check the status of your complaint by logging in to the website and clicking on the ‘CHECK STATUS’ option. You can then enter the complaint ID or search from the request date. 

2.      Kerala Police Cyberdome

Similar to the process available at the national level, the victim has the option to report objectionable content on the respective social media platforms, through the website https://cyberdome.kerala.gov.in/reportus.html.
It gives you an opportunity to report through the various media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or Email in addition to the option of a direct reporting box in the website which allows you to remain anonymous.
If you choose not to remain anonymous, you may enter your name, email address, phone number as well as your address to supplement your report. This can be submitted by filling out the Captcha code and clicking on a Red Button that says SUBMIT INFORMATION

3.      Reporting on the platform

As an alternative option, you may report to the respective social media websites or platforms so as to remove any objectionable content from their page(s). Most social media websites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc. have the option of reporting or flagging the objectionable content(s). The social media platforms may take appropriate action based on the contents reported to them as per their content policy.

  1.   Reporting Offline

On occurrence of any cybercrime, the victim may register a complaint with the nearest cyber cell or police station. The reporting procedure is quite similar to that of other crimes.

  • Go to the nearest police station and give a written complaint detailing the occurrence.
  • Based on the written complaint, a First Information Report will be registered.
  • Thereafter, the Police Station shall forward the details to the Cyber Cell, which will take over the investigation.
  • In the event of a finding that a crime has occurred, the investigating officers may require submission of evidence. It is advisable to retain copies of the evidence that you might submit.
  • After completion of investigation, depending on the gravity of the offence(s) as well as their punishment, the criminal courts shall take cognizance and initiate criminal proceedings.

EVIDENCE – TYPES AND SAFEKEEPING

A variety of documents may constitute evidence in Cybercrimes. It is important to collect and keep any evidence you may have in relation to your complaint. Among other types of documents, some examples of evidence include copies of emails, chat transcripts, screenshots of the mobile number of the suspect, images, screenshots, videos, url of web pages, etc. The complaint may also be supported and accompanied by physical documentary evidence including printouts, CDs, etc.
You might be required to give the evidence collected to the investigating officer when requested. In such circumstances it is advisable to retain copies of the same.
CYBER CRIME – PART I
CYBER CRIME – PART II

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