Jamtara: The Dark Side of India’s Digital Boom

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Jamtara - The Dark Side of India’s Digital Boom
Jamtara - The Dark Side of India’s Digital Boom

DIKSIA.COM - is one of the fastest-growing digital economies in the world, with over 800 million internet users and 1.2 billion mobile subscribers. The country has witnessed a surge in online transactions, e-commerce, digital payments, and social media platforms in recent years. However, this digital boom also comes with a dark side: .

One of the most prevalent forms of in is phishing, which involves tricking unsuspecting users into revealing their personal or financial information through fraudulent calls, emails, or messages. According to a report by IBM, India ranked second in the world in terms of phishing attacks in 2020, accounting for 7% of the global share.

While phishing is a global phenomenon, there is a unique twist to it in India: the involvement of young men from small towns and villages, who operate large-scale phishing rackets from their homes, using cheap smartphones and SIM cards. One such place is Jamtara, a district in the eastern state of Jharkhand, which has earned the dubious distinction of being the phishing capital of India.

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Jamtara: The Phishing Capital of India

Jamtara is a remote and underdeveloped district, with a population of about 800,000 people. It has poor infrastructure, low literacy, high unemployment, and rampant poverty. However, it also has a thriving underground industry of phishing, which has made some of its residents rich and powerful.

The in Jamtara is simple but effective. The young men, mostly in their teens or early twenties, call random people across the country, posing as bank officials, customer care executives, or online retailers.

They use social engineering techniques to persuade their targets to share their bank account details, debit or credit card numbers, PINs, or OTPs (one-time passwords). They then use this information to transfer money from the victims' accounts to their own, or to buy goods or services online.

The scamsters operate in groups, known as “gangs”, which are led by a “mastermind” or a “boss”. Each gang has a network of “runners”, who collect SIM cards, bank accounts, and e-wallets for the scam. The gangs also have links with local politicians, police officers, and criminals, who provide them protection, patronage, and money laundering services.