Rajasthan: Bharatpur's Deeg Emerges As New Cybercrime Hub; Training Centers In Village Teach Scams & Frauds

Rajasthan: Bharatpur's Deeg Emerges As New Cybercrime Hub; Training Centers In Village Teach Scams & Frauds

When Rajapeth police took the caller into custody and brought him to the police station, he was under the influence of alcohol.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Monday, January 01, 2024, 01:09 AM IST
article-image
Rajasthan: Bharatpur's Deeg Emerges As New Cybercrime Hub; Training Centers In Village Teach Scams & Frauds |

Following in the footsteps of Jharkhand’s Jamtara district, Deeg in Rajasthan's Bharatpur is emerging as the latest cybercrime hub.

“It’s a small, sleepy village. At first glance, it might seem ultra-peaceful, but one shouldn't judge a village by its appearance. Shops, fields, houses – everywhere – there is always some sort of meeting or training taking place. Some may look like they are going to schools or tuitions, with a notebook and a pen, or a bag, but they are going to training centers – which train them to cheat and dupe people using the internet as the medium,” explained Keshav Wagh, a police officer attached to the Matunga police.

Recent cases traced to Deeg

Recently, Matunga police arrested a man and a minor boy in connection with a sextortion case where the victim, an MBBS doctor, was threatened about uploading his video on the internet. The duo posed as Cyber Police officers and duped lakhs of rupees from the victim. The incident happened in June, but the arrests were made in December. A police team managed to trace the location of the accused – Deeg – and started planting traps outside the village.

During this investigation and previous visits to Deeg, they uncovered deeper links of cybercrime at the village level. There is no age limit to citizens trained to commit cybercrime – it could be teens, adults, and even senior citizens – with no gender barrier. They are provided with their weapons – a mobile phone and a bunch of SIM cards – by higher-ups or their bosses. “They get a bunch of papers which have names, phone numbers, occupations, and recent transactions of possible victims. They get trained on how to talk – rather, manipulate people, basic English-speaking skills, voice-changing modules, usage of technical terms, for example: if they pose as bank officials, they will be provided with a list of banking terms, words, phrases, etc.,” said a cyber police official.

Shocking claims by accused

The arrested duo revealed during interrogation that the villagers don’t need to go out looking for jobs and that they are making more money than anyone could imagine on a day-to-day basis. They also mentioned how the entire village is divided into parts to execute various “types” of cyber fraud. “One group does the voice phishing, while another conducts calls posing as bank officials, some are for sextortion, and some for task-based frauds,” the officer added.

Police, however, face challenges in arresting cybercrime culprits. “The first challenge is to track them. There was this one accused we held from Deeg; he had more than 80 SIM cards that he used. Their rule is to scrap the SIM immediately after committing a crime. The second is how well the villagers stand by each other against us (the police),” explained Wagh, adding that the villagers tip each other off every minute if they spot police or police vehicles at the borders, entry, or exit of the village.

“The first action they take, if they sense us (police), is to run away into the fields. The fields are widespread, and once they enter, it’s impossible to spot them,” he added. Wagh also mentioned the main types of cyber frauds originating from Deeg, including job scams, online shopping scams, social media frauds, fake calls, voice phishing, and sextortion.

“The significant part here is data theft – how do the villagers get access to people’s data or videos in cases of sextortion? They can’t get it themselves, which means there are powerful people involved who are helping them. Data theft and data privacy are points we should focus on,” said an officer on the condition of anonymity.

Jaipur police recently identified and blocked 21,804 pre-activated SIM cards and seized 23,004 mobile phones from Bharatpur.

They identified 6 crore records of active mobile phones in the region.

A study by the Future Crime Research Foundation (FCRF) revealed that Bharatpur and Mathura have replaced Jamtara as the top cybercrime hotspot in India. FCRF is a non-profit start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology – Kanpur. Bharatpur stands at 18 per cent when it comes to its contribution to cybercrime cases in India, followed by Matura (12%), Nuh (11%), Deoghar (10%), Jamtara (9.6%), etc.

RECENT STORIES

'His Values Will Always Guide Us': Rahul Gandhi Pays Tribute To Former PM Jawaharlal Nehru On His...

'His Values Will Always Guide Us': Rahul Gandhi Pays Tribute To Former PM Jawaharlal Nehru On His...

Lucknow News: Monitor Lizard Crawls To 2nd Floor Of Building In Vibhuti Khand, Sparks Panic Among...

Lucknow News: Monitor Lizard Crawls To 2nd Floor Of Building In Vibhuti Khand, Sparks Panic Among...

Live Breaking News Updates: Flight Operations Resume At Kolkata Airport As Cyclone Remal Weakens

Live Breaking News Updates: Flight Operations Resume At Kolkata Airport As Cyclone Remal Weakens

Cyclone Remal: Flight Operations Resume At Kolkata Airport After Severe Cyclonic Storm Remal Weakens

Cyclone Remal: Flight Operations Resume At Kolkata Airport After Severe Cyclonic Storm Remal Weakens

Telangana Tragedy: 13 People Killed As Heavy Rains Accompanied By Thunderstorms Wreak Havoc In State

Telangana Tragedy: 13 People Killed As Heavy Rains Accompanied By Thunderstorms Wreak Havoc In State