Digital Arrest Scam: Emerging New Face of Cyber Crime in 2023?

Digital Arrest Scam: Emerging New Face of Cyber Crime:

As digital technology is progressing, new methods of cyber crime are also being created by fraudsters. Almost every day we are facing such incidents of cyber crime even in India. 

Just a few days ago there was a buzz about Deepfake and ClearFake and now a new problem has arisen which is being called “Digital Arrest”. Let’s see what this is.

Digital Arrest Scam: Emerging New Face of Cyber Crime
Digital Arrest Scam: Emerging New Face of Cyber Crime

What is Digital Arrest Scam

Digital arrest scam is the latest trend adopted by cyber criminals through which they blackmail victims and extract money from them.

In this, the scammers make video calls to the victim posing as a government officer like a customs officer, police officer or narcotics department officer and threaten them that they have involvement in some crime and if they want to avoid being arrested then they have to pay them. 

Till arrangement of money, the victim is forced to remain on video call all the time which is called Digital Arrest.

During this period, talking, messaging or meeting anyone is not allowed. In this way people remain imprisoned online in their own homes.

Digital Arrest Incidents Reported In India

It is very strange that this scam is happening with educated people. Just a few days ago, two such incidents were reported in India: one in Faridabad (Haryana) and the other in Noida (Uttar Pradesh). 

In both the cases, educated and working women have been targeted.

1st Incident: Faridabad

A 23-year-old woman in Faridabad (Haryana) of India was deceived into paying Rs 2.5 lakh through digital arrest. 

On 12th October, 2023, the victim got a call from a fraudster posing as a Lucknow customs officer. The caller claimed that a package was being shipped to Cambodia that included cards and passports associated with the victim’s Aadhaar number. 

The victim was forced to believe that she was a part of illegal activity, which included human trafficking. Under the guise of police officers, the cybercriminals made up accusations before extorting money from the victim.

The woman described the incident and said that they had also cited complaints in which people claimed that she had defrauded them of about Rs 3.80 crore by taking money from them to send kids overseas. 

Subsequently, a man posing as a CBI officer informed her that she needed to pay five percent of the total, or Rs 15 lakh, and threatened to digitally arrest her when she replied she couldn’t afford it.

By using psychological techniques, the cybercriminals forced the victim to transfer money to a pre-designated bank account while keeping her logged into Skype. 

Subsequent to their successful acquisition of Rs 2.5 lakh, the perpetrators freed the victim from the digital arrest.

2nd Incident: Noida

Recently, a woman in Noida (Uttar Pradesh) of India was the victim of a whole day-long “digital arrest” after being defrauded of more than Rs 11 lakh in a different incident. 

Similar tactics were used by the cybercriminals, who pretended to be police officers and linked the victim to made-up criminal cases. 

The victim was informed that the illegal advertising and harassment of women had been carried out using her Aadhaar card and other personal details, which had also been used to purchase a SIM card for a phone.

She complained that her call was redirected to someone who claimed to be a Mumbai Police officer.  He conducted the interrogation over phone call and then on Skype Video Conferencing. 

Then he told her that there was another accusation of money laundering against her involving the founder of an airline, for which the Supreme Court had issued an arrest warrant and filed a formal complaint.

The perpetrators forced the victim to transfer money from her accounts by saying it was required for an inquiry ordered by the Supreme Court. 

The fraudsters claimed that maintaining secrecy would have implications for national security, which they used to further manipulate the victim. 

It has also been reported that the victim was advised to apply for a personal instant loan of Rs 20 lakh from ICICI and was even under pressure to keep sufficient balances in her accounts. 

To validate the victim’s Aadhaar card for the fictitious investigation, the criminals went to great lengths, even taking a picture of her signature on Skype.

The victim became aware of the scam and informed the Uttar Pradesh Police’s Cyber Crime officials about it. She detailed her digital arrest from dawn to night and claimed to have been defrauded of Rs 11.11 lakh. 

The filing of a formal complaint (FIR) in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Information Technology Act and Indian Penal Code was confirmed by the Inspector to the news agencies, who oversees the Cyber Crime police station located in Noida Sector 36.

Here, one word from me – people should be aware that police never question someone online. Should someone make such a threat against you, request that they send you a formal notice, obtain their contact information and inform them that you will be meeting them at the police station.

These incidents demonstrate how cybercriminals are changing their strategies and emphasize the public’s need to be more vigilant and aware in order to avoid falling for these kinds of scams.

Digital Arrest Scam: Emerging New Face of Cyber Crime
Digital Arrest Scam: Emerging New Face of Cyber Crime

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How to Avoid Digital Arrest Scam

  • Remain vigilant and observant: Recognize typical fraudster techniques and schemes, such as digital arrest scams.
  • Always confirm who is calling: If someone calls you posing as a law enforcement official, get their official identification documents and contact details to confirm their identity.
  • Remain composed and raise doubts about the veracity of the circumstances. Legitimate legal issues are usually resolved by formal processes rather than by sudden dangers.
  • Never divulge personal information, particularly your bank account information: Refrain from disclosing financial or personal information to unidentified or unreliable people.
  • Always verify claims again and request supporting documentation: Verify information regarding legal allegations on your own. Confirm the veracity of any claims by getting in touch with the appropriate legal or law enforcement bodies in your area via official channels.
  • Use only official channels for communication: Only official channels are used by law enforcement organizations that are legitimate. When in doubt, use the publicly accessible contact details to independently get in touch with the appropriate agency.
  • Stay up to date: Learn to recognize the obvious signs of con artists i.e., unsolicited calls requesting money, threats of immediate legal action, and requests for payment through unusual means.
  • Still, if this kind of scam happens to you, then call the National Cyber ​​Crime Helpline number: 1930.


In this way we have seen how fraudsters make you their prey by adopting these methods. Digital arrest scam is a completely new method which is being adopted by cyber criminals. 

The irony is that educated and working people are becoming its victims which is a matter of real concern. Only information can save you from this type of incident.

That’s all for now my friends! I hope this article will be valuable for you. You can reach me through the emails given below. I will love your valuable comments and feedback.


Abhijit Ranjan

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