Jharkhand has been labeled as the global capital of cyber fraud. This district hosts several cybercriminals and the majority of them are school dropouts. In response to this, the Indian government has taken initiatives to train policemen to crackdown electronic fraud.
The police, in the middle of the year arrested 100 people from the district, and most of them were teenagers and dropouts.
The Cybercrime sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have arrested a group of cyber gangsters who illegally made withdrawals from several accounts in a national bank in India.
According to a report, the gang was led by a 19 year old, to withdraw money from over 2,000 bank accounts in Karnataka. They also withdrew money from the state bank of Mysore. Their operations were well planned with a strong indication that several bank accounts had been compromised. It took just two days to finish the operation in April.
In one of their operations, the gang used just a few hours to make 1.56 lakhs transactions from banks and credit card owners, withdrawing a sum 79 lakhs. An investigation has revealed that their operation was executed in Bengaluru, Sringeri, Mangaluru, and Tirthahalli.
The accused, Suraj Mohali (19), together with his associate Kimmi Kumar Mondal (20) and two others also withdrew 49 lakhs from some banks across the country.
Right after their transactions, they employed their other plan of transferring the funds into their bank accounts opened with fake documents. The blueprint of their plan gave them up to the police as they used some of the stolen funds to charge their mobile phones. The police, therefore, traced them and put them behind bars.
Suraj, after his arrest, confessed to being part of the bigger cybercrime network in Jharkhand. His arrest happens to be something that needs to be done, but not the total breakdown of the cyber fraud in the district.
The police were able to retrieve several account details from Suraj. “Suraj told us that the kingpin, who is yet to be identified, would give them details of the bank accounts and instruct them to withdraw not more than 49 lakh from each account,” said a police officer.
Cyber fraud is recognized as a household business in some parts of India, most especially the Jhiluwa village in Narayanpur. The motivation to embark on this venture is not clear, but it is probably the need to survive in the economic harsh reality that has served as a fuel to illegally get into people’s accounts.
The seriousness of cyber fraud in the area is manifested in how dangerous authorities see mobile phone selling shops as a threat, instead of a mere trade of communication devices. The area has just two schools but has over 30 shops offering mobile phones for sale.
Jharkhand has been the center where online criminals are trained and distributed across the country. Suraj revealed to the police that most of the youth in his village are trained into cyber fraud. It is, therefore, true to say that the only activity that the majority of the youths which includes dropouts, do to survive is internet fraud.
A close examination of the online fraud in these areas revealed that the online fraudsters usually use phishing methods to steal credentials of their victims. They call or mail the victims and pretend to be calling from the banks. They eventually ask for their bank details which most people provide.
Most of the villages have denied the engagement of their youth in this kind of crime, but the majority of the arrests made within the year were recorded in the villages. Manoj Kumar Singh, a former superintendent of the police in the district said that they used to arrest at least one youth a day during his service in the district.
Fifty arrests associated with cyber fraud were made in the Karmatand block alone. Some of the fraudsters also operate on the Darknet marketplaces by selling the stolen bank data to people online. The India police recently arrested international cybercrime gangs selling fake credit cards online. Few also purchase sophisticated malware on the Darknet and use them for further fraud online.
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Author: Sam Jona