Most of us at some point of time, may have received calls from fraudsters with call and queries on Debit Card/Credit Card or Banking related issues. Most of these calls were (or are) from Jamtara (Jamtada) in Jharkhand. In a report provide to the press during May 2018, the Union Home Secretary, Government of India, Shri Rajib Gauba had mentioned that ‘more than half of India’s Cyber Crime were being committed by fraudsters from the obscure place being Jamtara in Jharkhand‘. This tribal village is still of undulated terrain and is part of the Santhal Pargana region, of Jharkhand. The area is widespread with forest stretches, low literacy and a majority of youth population of approximately 8 lakhs. The population is attached to the primary sector, mainly rain-fed agriculture. This are also part of the Red-corridor. The village is no more of Mud Thatched Huts, but Permanent Buildings and with the largest number of mobile phones per square feet of land, with a foot-fall of over 3000 IPs. Most importantly, it is located at the junction of Jharkhand and West Bengal making it difficult for police and investigators to apprehend the cyber-offenders. It is also now reported that this e-crime corridor is now spreading beyond Jamtara.
It is not just Jamtara (Jamtada) any more; the e-crime corridor is spreading over a few acres as time goes by. On 19 November 2019, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, Godda Jharkhand, has himself in the Lok Sabha, quoted that the regions of Pakur, Deoghar, Godda, Sahebgang, Dumka apart from Jamtada has become “Hub for Cyber Crime” and that these areas has now been patronised even better by cyber criminals. He has also made a demand for a National Investigation Agency (NIA) office and lab, to address the cyber-criminals who operate from these areas.
We are well aware that more than 80 percent of the Cyber Crime Victims are urban centric and are centred on cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, etc, but the attacks and phone calls emanate from this e-crime corridor. With this remote village of Jamtara topping the phishing network of the country, we now have the spread extended from Jharkhand to Andhra Pradesh. .
The government measures to clampdown on non-mainstream funding and activities and its other measures, have actually flourished or boosted the ‘Fiscal Crime’ arena, as this is a better process of funding the ‘Black Economy‘, and that which goes undetected and also with quicker accomplishment. The brains behind these operations for execution of Cyber Crime and the modalities of bringing in funds are managed by intellects. The advantage for these non-state actors, is that they may go undetected as the crime is virtual and the physical trail to the individual can be oblated once the crime is executed. The red-corridor is also not frequented by the Law Enforcement Agencies, because of the fear of being revenged upon, hence the perpetrators go scot-free and are never apprehended.
The solution now, is to be conscious of the spreading of the e-crime corridor and also the modus-operandi of these fraudsters. The obvious loop-holes due to border issues among LEA is also to be kept in mind, thus, it is to be assumed that that money may not be recoverable if one has lost it to such Cyber Crimes. Precaution form such fraudsters and securing of the Bank Account/ Debit Card/Credit Card is essential. Social engineering and the ease of modulating human behaviour, is a prank that many fall prey to, due caution should be exercised here again.