11, Mar, 2024

How to Avoid the “Digital House Arrest” Scam

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The internet offers a wealth of information and connection, but it also harbors hidden dangers. A recent scam tactic, dubbed “digital house arrest,” has emerged as a growing threat, particularly in India. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from falling victim.

What is Digital House Arrest?

Digital house arrest is a social engineering scam where cybercriminals impersonate law enforcement officials. They target individuals through phone calls, emails, or even social media messages.  The scammers claim the victim’s identity proofs such as their bank account, SIM card, Aadhaar card, or other cards linked to their bank account has been used unlawfully.

How Does the Scam Work?

The scam typically unfolds in these steps:

  1. The Call: The victim receives a call from someone claiming to be from a legitimate organization like the police, social security administration, or bank.
  2. Creating Panic: The caller alleges fraudulent activity on the victim’s account or a threat to their identity. They use urgency and fear tactics to pressure the victim into taking immediate action.
  3. Isolating the Victim: Scammers often instruct the victim not to contact anyone, including family or the real authorities, claiming it would jeopardize the investigation. This isolates the victim and makes them more susceptible to manipulation.
  4. Demanding Compliance: The caller demands the victim take specific actions, such as transferring money, providing personal information, or downloading malware.

How to Protect Yourself from Digital House Arrest Scams:

  1. Be Wary of Unsolicited Calls: Legitimate organizations rarely contact you out of the blue regarding urgent account issues.
  2. Verify Information: Don’t trust caller ID – it can be spoofed. If you’re unsure, hang up and call the official number of the organization the caller claims to represent.
  3. Never Share Personal Information: Legitimate institutions won’t ask for sensitive information like passwords or social security numbers over the phone.
  4. Don’t Be Pressured into Action: Take a moment to breathe and don’t make hasty decisions due to fear.
  5. Talk to Someone You Trust: Discuss the situation with a friend, family member, or law enforcement officer to gain a clear perspective.
  6. Report Suspicious Activity: Report the scam attempt to the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal at www.cybercrime.gov.in Or Call Cyber Crime Helpline is 1930

Here are some resources to stay informed:


  • Legitimate authorities won’t ask for personal details or payments over the phone.
  • Take a moment to breathe and think critically before taking any action under pressure.
  • Sharing information with trusted individuals can help you assess the situation objectively.

By staying vigilant and aware, you can protect yourself from falling victim to this digital house arrest scam. Don’t let fear cloud your judgment – take control and stay safe online!

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