Cell phone has become the indispensable part of our life. The way of communication has been vastly changed by the cell phones. Basic function of a cellphone is to make and receive calls. There are many other uses of cell phone as to send text, email, and hear songs, browse some information, online shopping, online banking and much more. Everything can be done in single device; there is no longer a need for multiple devices. We have control over all such activities in a single device. Everything has become digitalised.
It is easy for everyone to convey their message by use of cell phones from any part of world. It’s about how people use the way of communication. Some make use of it fully, where some pass rumours, irrelevant information, threat to others, pranks, etc. These unwanted situations cause inconvenience to others. Here we are going to know about threat calls and what are the measures to be taken. Threat calls are considered to be dangerous; when it is been received from known person is easy for us to take action against them. When the call is from unknown person then it is an issue, where proper step to be taken. It is very important to know that threat calls is a criminal offence in our country.
Here are some steps to be followed when threat calls are received. There are different kinds of threat calls such as bomb threat, extortion threat, murder threat, threat to property, etc. It is a very serious problem to be noted. When the person receives threat calls, then he/she have to inform the police as soon as possible. The person who receives the threat call can also file online complaint on that number. The calls are asked to be recorded if possible. Do not share any personal information to the caller. If you’re out of town or not in home, don’t inform the caller about all this. There are many general helpline as 181 – women helpline, 100 – general helpline etc.
How to protect from threat calls
If you receive calls constantly, then you could block them. It is the first and foremost step every person will do. In phone, there is anonymous call rejection option. Soothe person needed not attend calls other than caller ID. You should not share any confidential information to the scam caller. Even the person may try to manipulate certain information from us, but we should not disclose it. File a complaint against the threat calls been received. Here are the steps to be followed in filing a complaint to the police and cyber cell
Filing a complaint to police
The police have to accept the complaint from the person who received threat call. There should be proper evidence of the call before filing a complaint. The threat calls can be periodic and constant. If calls are periodic, then the complaint can be lodged in general diary. If the person gets constant calls, then FIR can be lodged in the police station. In the complaint, the person should not hide any information to the officer. What kind of threat to be noted in the complaint made. The police officer has to take proper steps and start investigation. The person can approach the police for private police protection, when there is threat to property and person. Charges are needed to be paid for the protection service for hourly service by the security officer.
When one receives the threat call can seek help from law to tackle the situation. As already known making threat calls is a criminal offence under IPC and it is punishable. Here are some sections under IPC to lodge a complaint
- Section 354 (D) – stalking – A person is found guilty under this section, he will be punished for the period which may extend up to 3 years and fine can also be imposed.
- Section 506 – criminal intimidation – A person is found guilty under this section, he will be punished for the period which may extend up to 2 years or fine or both.
- Section 509 – modesty of women – A person found guilty under this section, he will be punished for a period which may extend up to 1 year or fine or both.
Filing a complaint in cyber cell
The first to write a written complaint to head of the cyber cell in that city, provided with name, contact details, address for mailing. If you’re not able to file a complaint, then you can file an FIR at the local police station. If the complaint is not accepted, you may approach the commissioner. The complaints can be registered against offences comes under Indian Penal Code. The police officer is bound to record Zero FIR from the complaint[i]. Here are some links to lodge an online cyber crime complaint[ii]
In this case, a boy was kidnapped on the day of Bakrid day; his parents made a police complaint in nearby police station. The father received a threat call from unknown person demanding for ransom of Rs. 10 lakh. Later on the caller has reduced the amount to Rs. 3 lakh. The caller has asked to bring money to Jamalpur Railway with Rs. 3 lakh, but no one approached. They have been asked to appear on some other place. The police officer conducted a raid, and arrested five persons, the boy was rescued. After investigation the police found that the boy was kidnapped by the ex-employee of his father. They have been convicted.[iii]
A person who receive bomb threat have to remain calm and note all the points stated by the person who make threat call. The person has to note the caller ID and time of the call. Immediately after the call, a notification regarding the threat has to be informed to the police. All information regarding the speaker such as the tone, sound heard on the call, time and caller ID have to be informed. Level of threat has to be diagnosed as low, medium, high levels. Every bomb threat call has to be taken seriously as it could cause damage to property, death or injuries. Some inform about the threat to protect the people from the upcoming danger. Some could prank, to cause disturbance to the public.[iv] When a person is found guilty can be charged under section
- Section 177 – When a person knows are has reason to believe that furnished information is said to be false, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or both.
- Section 505 – When a person publishes or circulates any statement or rumour or report, which may intend to cause offense under this section, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or fine or both.
- Section 507 – When a person commits the offence of criminal intimidation by anonymous communication, shall be punished with imprisonment which may exceed to two years. In addition to punishment prescribed in section 506.
Threats calls made by bank recovery agents
Banks will have separate recovery agents for the collection of loan amount, credit payments. Due to high charge on interest the customers find it difficult to pay. The recovery agents started threatening the customers. The Banking Codes and Standards Board of India, stated that the customers are ought to be treated well. The recovery agent should not use abusive words to its customers. The customers have the right to privacy, where the agents should not disclose the debt to anyone. If so happens, then complaint can be filed against the agent will be removed from respective bank. If bank did not take any necessary action against the agent, then the customer can approach the banking ombudsman.
Everyone will handle the situation in different ways. Some of the common steps taken by the person are to block the number, but this could not help to solve the issue. It is advisable to seek help from law. There are different ways to tackle the situation. Receiving threat calls is serious in nature, but sometimes it may be prank to disturb the peace in the society.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje