Over 100 Websites Implicated in Illegal Investment Scams Blocked by IT Ministry

New Delhi: In a significant crackdown on organized cybercrime, Union Home Ministry has blocked over 100 websites involved in facilitating illegal investments and fraudulent part-time job schemes. Acting on recommendations from the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) invoked its authority under the Information Technology Act, 2000, to block these malicious websites.

These websites, operated by overseas actors, employed sophisticated methods to ensnare unsuspecting victims, utilizing digital advertising, chat messengers, and rented accounts to promote their illicit activities. The ill-gotten gains from these scams were laundered out of India through a web of interconnected channels, including card networks, cryptocurrencies, overseas ATM withdrawals, and international Fintech companies.

This decisive action follows a series of measures taken by MeitY to combat cybercrime, including the blocking of 232 apps involved in betting, gambling, and unauthorized loan services. Notably, prominent Fintech firms like LazyPay, IndiaBulls Home Loans, and Kissht were among the websites affected by these blocks.

The latest crackdown aligns with a broader trend of heightened regulatory scrutiny within India’s digital lending industry. Discussions on establishing a self-regulatory organization (SRO) to oversee the sector have gained traction, as highlighted in a May 2023 Chase India report.

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