Boy do I have the project for you: https://thenewinquiry.com/white-collar-crime-risk-zones/
I think there are huge buildings with call centers in India dedicated to cyber crime. Thousands of people. Nothing to do with tech skills.
Here is Mark Rober basically bringing the war to their shores with incredible pranks:
Personal anecdote but I've witnessed cybercrime being done in various towns in some of India's biggest states, and they attract youth that would otherwise have been working in their family farms, etc.
and your link for 1?
And before anyone says such towns only account for a small proportion of all cybercrimes, the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba has himself acknowledged that this one town alone was responsible for more than half of all cybercrimes (where the fraudster was posing as a bank manager) 
Yes, and it would interesting to know for lot of people. I wouldn't mind T-shirts with NYC :: BFC front and on back BFC expanded to (Big Financial Crimes).
But looking through the same lens as the example you provided, it makes sense that since 1.4 billion people stay in India, it is natural for the volume of cybercrime to be high.
> Another finding in the report was that of all reported cyber crimes in India, almost half (47.25 percent) involved Unified Payments Interface (UPI) fraud. Debit, credit card and sim swap fraud came in a distant second place with 11.27 percent. Overall, financially motivated crime accounted for 77.41 percent of incidents.
Talented criminals are rare. And those talents mostly go behind bars while the above criminals loom at large.
easy to get in, low skill requirements, good pay
i heard it first hand.
there's a distaste on this one but this is mostly social psychology at work.
there are things people will do to provide for themselves and to improve their quality of life as long as they get away with it.
hell, it can be equated to online copywriters of fake fat loss pills and cosmetic products, people buying identities, vpns, ad accounts.
wherever you go there's always someone tryna take advantage of the sucker in the room.
god i love people, haha.
Cyber crime usually targets external countries and it brings money in to the local economy, so little incentive for the government to target it
Same as hackers in Russia having impunity as long as they're not targeting USSR countries
A lot of baseless speculation here considering that the Indian police regularly work with the FBI to bust up cyber-crime - and this is regularly reported. Could you please offer some evidence to support your allegations ?
India is a hot spot for cyber crime and scam call centers
Sure you can read articles about apprehensions every single day, but India is a big country, arresting 10 people every day makes no difference if there's (imagine) 100k people in the industry at any given time
The Indian version of the FBI can't operate in states without their explicit permission, and there have been multiple cases where state police will end up arresting each other because competing politicians in neighboring states would file motions against each other. For example - https://m.timesofindia.com/india/explainer-inter-state-polic...
abstract terms with no implications
Compare that with solid $ figures: if there's 1B in cyber crime money flowing to India per year split by 100k workers
that's $10k/year each, double average salary in india
Same like Russia, there can be a lot of complaints about Russia, but everyone still buying oil from Russia
I can post 2 dozen such bust-ups in the last few years alone. The problem is that India is large nation with a humongous internet-growing population and the Indian police are still far behind their western counterparts. Also, compared to the FBI, the Indian CBI lacks teeth.
Please note that the FBI also ranks India as among the top five countries in terms of total cybercrime victims.
The machine translation of those chats and internal read me docs from Russian to English resulted in some hilarious loss of nuance - sentences like “removing the admins eggs” (which is idiom - eggs meaning balls, and more so meant subverting the admins privileges).
Scamming a Westerner can be worth a year’s pay even if they net a few thousand dollars. Whereas the legitimate jobs pay far less.
It also requires less skill to try as a lot of it is social engineering.
The report is for Southeast Asia, but the same may apply for India too.
You should still be able to glean the overall UN position on similar practices.
Whether you intended or not; your comment came across slightly xenophobic. 2 out of 3 main points (UN stance, forced criminality) are on point and shouldn't change based on the geographic region. Your comment read as if you were offended that the same pointsfor SE Asia could ever apply to India.
I hope not though. Either way it's important to acknowledge higher(meta) level perspectives for what they actually say, not who they're about.
If software developer talent is distributed across all classes of society but only the upper classes have access to professional or well paid technical jobs, there will be a surplus of low class tech workers shut out of the legal job market. So they resort to crime.
This is a key component of class.
Even though people in the West think we live in a classless society, Western society really does have classism, but it often is confused with race.
Class is a human problem.
being a person of color or being a low rank caste member doesnt necessarily make you an asshole by birth, but poor living conditions and peer pressure makes you wanna say yes to immoral ez money things. it sucks.
Thanks for downplaying my life experience. Maybe next time, try to engage without totally dismissing peoples feelings!
Imagining a glass ceiling will only undermine my efforts and confidence.
If you look around, I am absolutely sure you will find positive things that Canada provided and keeps providing you that 90% of the kids in my country can't even imagine.
Focus on that. Build confidence. Think that you can break this "glass ceiling". It's in your mind, bro.
As about intelligence and hard work, I think it's up to the people around us to judge ourselves and the results of our work. We need to understand others and be useful to them. That's how we can grow.
To me, it seems you have a mindset that is limiting yourself, making you feel sabotaged by others. This prevents you from learning what you need to do in order to improve and grow.
You might not like what I said. I might be wrong. You might ignore it. Anyways, those are the most honest, hard earned 2 cents I can offer.
I’m being realistic not a victim.
If you can objectively convince yourself that yes, with real examples, that's great for you.
If not, maybe this realistic view is just distracting you or undermining your capacity.
For instance, people in first world countries have a lot of advantages over what I have, but I don't care. Occupying my mental capacity with that doesn't help me advance in life.
Instead, I focused on what's positive. For instance: people in first world countries created the internet, published freely available learning resources and open sourced amazing software. With all of that, I learned English (with help of pirated movies/series + subtitles -- published by first world citizens) and taught myself to code. With these skills and a few years of focused work, I now have a standard of living relatively close to a first world middle class family. That's an amazing feat in my social context and I don't care that people in first world countries get that more easily. It doesn't matter to me. Perhaps I'm even happier than they are, because the struggle makes me value even more what I have now.
But my comments are based on my personal and family life experience.
People working out of offices in Indian cities are not criminals since they work for legitimate businesses; the concentration of scam operations in said cities is not related to the presence of the IT industry, nor would scammers allocate resources inefficiently by buying office space, which isn’t required to run a criminal enterprise and may be detrimental by way of drawing attention and scrutiny which would have been avoided otherwise.
(Downvoters may want to address the problems with my comment; although I feel this is an issue which people feel strongly about, so a rational analysis is often foregone in the pursuit of vindication.)
Saying that scammers do not buy office space doesn't seem correct. Are you saying they wouldn't buy (or lease/rent) office space? If so, the Youtube videos and Reply All directly contradict that.
AI will make this industry even more successful. Telemarketers read from a script anyway, so it's only a matter of time until these scams are fully automated. We're starting to see some of this already, but it will be fully adopted in a few years.
That said, scam calling is a uniquely large industry in Bihar and West Bengal as neither have a significant tech industry, and see very little foreign investment, so there is less incentive for state politicians to crack down on something that generates easy money. Most BPO and Software outsourcing companies in Kolkata and Patna tend to be the old school Indian outsourcing companies that got priced out of Bangalore/Gurgaon/Hyderabad/Pune because they have low margins, and thus pay lower salaries (around $3-7k a year compared to $20-70k a year in Tier 1 cities or product driven companies)
Besides, there is an angle of view "rich westerners extortioned our country for centuries, and now are accusing us with the same because of few scammers we're certainly honestly (not) trying to catch" which will be very popular in a certain parts of the world.
Much of the world views India as a corrupt, low-trust society, and it is things like scam centres operating as full blown, in the open operations that built and maintains this reputation.
And of course there are costs. China has shot miles ahead of India. Despite all of the advantages India enjoyed it has a GDP per capita below Congo. An economy with a strong scam and corruption basis will always falter.
Even if you think this is some sort of poetic justice tax on ugly Westerners, this sort of criminality always goes hand in hand with corruption at all levels of government, in policing, and so on. Always.
 quoting from the Narcissist's prayer: "And if I did, you deserved it.". Criminals through history have justified their actions by claiming that it is merely righting some historic wrong.
Not really sure if much of the world shares your opinion.
> Despite all of the advantages India enjoyed it has a GDP per capita below Congo.
Congo-Brazzavile, which has GDP per capita slightly above India, is a petrocracy with only a 5 million people. DR Congo, which may be comparable, has GDP per capita four times lower than in India. Applying the same logic, I can say that US is more corrupt and low-trust because Qatar has higher GDP per capita.
> An economy with a strong scam and corruption basis will always falter.
If 7% average annual GDP growth for the last twenty years is now considered "faltering", I don't know what to say.
> Even if you think this is some sort of poetic justice tax on ugly Westerners
I haven't stated that it is my opinion.
>Not really sure if much of the world shares your opinion.
Yes, most of the world views India as a fundamentally corrupt nation. I mean, you literally described a tacit acceptance of scammers as a norm...
>If 7% average annual GDP growth for the last twenty years is now considered "faltering"
After 20 years of that GDP growth, India now has a GDP per capita between the Ivory Coast and Nicaragua. When you have nowhere to go but up, and are basically a ship being lifted by a rising tide, it isn't that demonstrative.
India had the English language and a membership in the commonwealth in a world where that was a tremendous advantage. While Hong Kong, Singapore, and others became incredibly rich, India became known as a corrupt nation where public corruption was endemic and criminality/scamming was tolerated (again, you literally did exactly this justification). When criminality is tolerated it levies a cost on the entirety of that society. India should be decades further in prosperity than it is, and I think you might be missing the point. And at some point, someone is going to say "you know, being internationally infamous for scam centres isn't good for us" and there'll be a concerted effort to shut them down.
>Applying the same logic, I can say that US is more corrupt and low-trust because Qatar has higher GDP per capita.
That isn't the same logic, and I don't think you're following.
> Yes, most of the world views India as a fundamentally corrupt nation
I can't tell if this is satire or not but I don't think a "world [that] views India as a fundamentally corrupt nation" would have good ties with such a nation. Unless the US, France, and some African nations are all too "fundamentally corrupt" in some way. Perhaps only a few nations on this planet are blessed enough to be deemed fundamentally (not-)corrupt by you.
> That isn't the same logic, and I don't think you're following.
Why not? They applied the same logic that you used in your original comment, but this time applying it to a different set of countries. Does logic automatically become invalid when it no longer supports your statement? You
If this indeed was a satirical statement, I apologise in case I took your comment too literally.
Nation states will happily lever anyone they can exploit. As China ascends out of the "cheap labour" stage, and starts to become formidable on its own, everyone is looking at India as the next "China 30 years ago" -- lot of cheap exploitable labour. "Good ties" is quite a reach.
I mean...India should have been the "China 30 years ago" 30 years ago, but exactly the corruption I mentioned is why it wasn't. Defensiveness by Indians doesn't change this fact.
>They applied the same logic that you used in your original comment
They applied boorish, childish sophistry of busted logic out of defensiveness. I said that India's GDP is disastrous despite massive advantages. Replying "Well someone else has a good GDP therefore they something something" is just tired nonsense.
>If this indeed was a satirical statement
The "oh gosh this must be satire" tactic has always been incredibly lame.
If you mean to say that India on its own is not formidable in its current condition, you are living in an echo chamber. Several of India's achievements have made it a formidable country in its own right
> "Good ties" is quite a reach
Again, it appears that you are the only one with this view. In 2023, 70% of all Americans were held favorable views with regard to India .
> they applied boorish, childish sophistry of busted logic out of defensiveness. I said that India's GDP is disastrous despite massive advantages. Replying "Well someone else has a good GDP therefore they something something" is just tired nonsense.
Yet you were quite eager to use the measurement GDP per capita to somehow to portray India in an inferior light? Perhaps you need to read your own comments again, lest you contradict yourself again.
And I suppose being the country with the 3rd largest GDP (based on PPP) is "distastrous", right? Again something you got incredibly wrong. India is also the 5th largest country by nominal GDP.
> lot of cheap exploitable labour
Ah yes, explains the extremely good ties US has with Cuba (a country with no minimum wage). Accusing other countries of not fully cooperating in the fight against terrorism  is something that only the best of friends do, right?
> The "oh gosh this must be satire" tactic has always been incredibly lame.
Well the things you said in your comment were so mind bogglingly wrong that I had to include that. Comparing India with Congo? Really? Then you started crying when the other guy used your own method to say that Qatar was better than US.
I don't think the discussion is of value. I responded to someone who claimed there was no reputational harm if politicians aren't pounding a point, which is of course absurd and India is notorious worldwide as the home of endless scams. That endemic corruption is why it has remained shockingly poor relative to many peers, despite enormous advantages. If a twisted national pride blinds you to this, that's a you problem.
 - Ignoring that you cite the hilarious PPP, India has 1.4+ BILLION people and is the most populous nation on Earth. It only recently passed Canada, a country 1/35th the size, in economic output. That is absolutely disastrous (I actually spelled it correctly while you didn't, despite "quoting").
The "the discussion isn't valuable" tactic has always been incredibly lame.
> shockingly poor
If you had actually done any research, you would have known that this is not in fact due to any "reputation loss" from scammers; that is utter nonsense. India wasn't always poor, but after the Portuguese and British invaded it (history lesson, somehow I get the feeling you're gonna need it) that its relative wealth began to diminish. Even after independence it remained a largely socialist society until 1991. It has mostly enjoyed spectacular growth since then
> endemic corruption
Like most of your statements, you have provided no source. Interesting.
> twisted national pride
If I have a twisted national pride, at least I use sources and facts to back up any opinions I base on that pride. Your twisted racist side doesn't do that.
> hilarious PPP
Again, no elaboration on why you think the PPP is hilarious. I will have to assume that you have nothing else to add and therefore jumped on the lowest hanging fruit. I also mentioned that India is the 5th largest country based on nominal GDP. Pretty comvenient, skipping past portions of my comment without addressing them.
> Canada, a country 1/35th the size, in economic output
Canada wasn't invaded by multiple countries, who systematically oppressed its residents and suppressed their trade for their own profit, was it? Oh also did I forget to mention that the aforementioned invaders stayed in the country for 500+ years , ruling it for 89 of them?
Also I'm sure the UN would use GDP based on PPP in its human development index because its so hilarious, right?
> actually spelled it correctly
Red herring much? English is my fourth language, which I started learning about 5 years ago. I actually think I'm pretty good at it, but maybe I'm not. I tried to type in everything that I quoted so I must have mistyped.
Also no, I'm not bragging. A lot of Indians know a lot of languages, because of the diversity of the country. The language you speak (or at the very least, its dialect) changes every few kilometres depending on the area. I know 4 languages (2 Indian, 2 foreign) and thats not a lot for an Indian.
Do you genuinely believe India makes a significant amount of its GDP from scam centres and corruption?
Indians are victims of call center scams, too. Maybe not equal in monetary terms, but definitely equivalent or more in terms of frequency.
Call centers are scamming Indians big time.
Source: I am an Indian, and received ~20 scam calls in my life. I know at least half a dozen victims. My dad was a public sector bank admin whose responsibility, among many other things was addressing complaints after such crimes had taken place.
Not so much, these scammers looks for easy targets which both gullible old foreigners and Indians. The latest scam is Sextortion and Job promises, because there has been a lot of push to educate people to not share OTP, so these scammers keep looking new way to extort money.
Especially if they don't target anyone local, who's going to notice, who's going to tell and lose their job or burn bridges?
I have seen my city's name being tarnished by these scammers and call centers.
I am willing to help anyone wanting to put an end to them. I have some bureaucratic access to tax authorities who would be more than welcome to be in the limelight.
I have made this offer before on HN so doing it once again.
Pro bono work. Anonymous on my part.
I want to fuck these bad people up. Let me help you.
How does these facts convert to the headline of `India's biggest tech centers are cyber crime hot spots`?
Perhaps this could be a good time for UPI apps to educate their users on fraudulent transactions.
But a part of me thinks this is also trying to boost the credit/debit card industry which has slumped due to UPI's success. I just saw a VISA ad today showcasing their tap to pay feature, which is a strong contender to UPI.
Before UPI, debit cards were there. And people were social engineered to tell the scammer the One Time Password received in their cells required for the withdrawal/transfer.
As a person who receieved ~20 such calls and has known half a dozen victims personally, and my dad being a previous public sector bank administrator, I assure you UPI has not changed anything when it comes to scams.
The calls go like this:
"I am the branch manager of your bank. Your account will be closed in 24 hours due to <totally made up, unplausible problem>. I need you to tell me your 16 digit Debit Card number. Now your CVV, now the OTP. Okay thank you."
Thus, less educated and even educated people are scammed. They just ignore (or something) the money amount in the OTP messages.
When I receive such calls, I just ask back- "Okay, Mr. Resepected Branch Manager, which branch are you the manager of?", and they mumble or disconnect. One time a guy said, " the main branch". I was like, dude, the "main branch manager" sits with the Prime Minister and such, doesn't call small-time customers like me. And he disconnected. These tell me that the number leaks from not the bank employees/db, but elsewhere.
I threatened to call the police on one scammer. He asked to have mercy and not to call the police because it was their business. :') It was 4-5 years ago.
Even bank employees and admins receive calls from scammers identifying as bank employees.
And, yeah, the government spends a huge amount of money spreading awareness. But the kind of people susceptible to this don't ever learn.
Are you telling me you approve of such standards of intellectual prowess?