India's biggest tech centers named as cyber crime hotspots
204 points
9 months ago
| 9 comments
| theregister.com
| HN
saagarjha
9 months ago
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I think this is a somewhat strange way to put together a conclusion. A lot of cybercrime comes from India. A handful of cities are overrepresented in when it comes to software engineering talent. So it seems natural that a lot of people, both good and bad, would be concentrated there? It would be like a report that says "25% of financial crime in the US comes from New York City": well, duh, that's because all the financial activity happens there.
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ergl
9 months ago
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> It would be like a report that says "25% of financial crime in the US comes from New York City"

Boy do I have the project for you: https://thenewinquiry.com/white-collar-crime-risk-zones/

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oblio
9 months ago
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egithinji
9 months ago
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My little project suffered a bit from this as well: https://www.power-map.io/ Although zooming into the capital still yields useful info.
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IG_Semmelweiss
9 months ago
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I think the definition of cyber crime is what is important here.

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsLJZyih3Ac

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_kwef
9 months ago
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I think you have a misconception of where cybercrime truly is concentrated in India. I think its more in the villages, some of which actually organise "crash courses" for youth that wish to make a career out of this [1].

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.

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southernplaces7
9 months ago
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>youth that wish to make a career out of this [1].

and your link for 1?

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subtra3t
9 months ago
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Oops, sorry for not including the link. I could've sworn I'd included that in. Anyways here's your link: https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/nation/story/20160808-cyb...

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) [1]

[1] - https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/01061...

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geodel
9 months ago
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> It would be like a report that says "25% of financial crime in the US comes from New York City"

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).

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morbidious
9 months ago
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I was not sure how you concluded that "A lot of cybercrime comes from India".

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.

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xiaodai
9 months ago
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why can't these talents just find normal jobs
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mkagenius
9 months ago
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Most of these crimes hardly require talent. It's just social engineering the tech illiterates or even the unsuspecting literates.

> 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.

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joshxyz
9 months ago
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and they pay is usually better than other companies

easy to get in, low skill requirements, good pay

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ttyyzz
9 months ago
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you forgot one big thing in your list. the downside, which imo outweighs the benefits. being a criminal.
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mrguyorama
9 months ago
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These "employees" are usually led to believe "Everyone in the west is rich, it's fine to take a little from them"
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joshxyz
9 months ago
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this is so true, good lord.

i heard it first hand.

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cdchn
9 months ago
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Less of a problem when corruption is rampant and you can pay off the police.
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H8crilA
9 months ago
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And the upside can be enormous. There's a huge amount of very poor people in India. For example only a few years ago everyone finally got a toilet in their house. Stealing $500 from a slightly demented grandma that is afraid about her medical insurance "running out" can be a lot to them.
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sneed_chucker
9 months ago
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Yeah, but it's not $500. It's frequently people being tricked into transferring huge chunks of their life savings to the scammers. Like 5+ figure sums.
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joshxyz
9 months ago
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just the free markets at work

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.

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cdchn
9 months ago
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If you watch some of those "scammer gets scammed" videos you can see what the scammers actually think about the grandmas they're stealing from.
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IG_Semmelweiss
9 months ago
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Not necessarily getting scammed, but getting a bit of what they deserve

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsLJZyih3Ac

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gorlilla
9 months ago
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That will always depend on how good of a criminal you are. Whatever you do; don't be greedy.
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jowea
9 months ago
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For everyone else who is wondering what the other 22% are: https://www.futurecrime.org/cyber-crime-research
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PaywallBuster
9 months ago
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Impunity

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

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lenkite
9 months ago
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"Cyber crime usually targets external countries and it brings money in to the local economy, so little incentive for the government to target it"

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 ?

From my side: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cbi-and-delhi-police-...

https://theprint.in/india/delhi-police-busts-international-c...

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/cbi-operation-target...

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PaywallBuster
9 months ago
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Well, just read the article

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

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ttyyzz
9 months ago
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Sure, but I think the country's image suffered greatly as a result. In contrast to Russia, I can hardly imagine that the country's leadership doesn't care.
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alephnerd
9 months ago
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India is a federal country. There are various layers of federal, state, local, and municipal governments and enforcement you need to peel through to crack down on stuff like this, especially if an operation ends up partially co-opting the state and local portion, or if the state and the federal portion are opponents of each other.

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...

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PaywallBuster
9 months ago
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> country's image

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

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lenkite
9 months ago
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It does care. Some folks here are just posting their pet speculations as facts without actually checking their assertions. Indian police regularly work with the U.S. FBI.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/delhi/international-cyber-...

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.

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citrin_ru
9 months ago
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More likely hackers in Russia can avoid prosecution as long as they don’t target Russia’s allies (not all exUSSR countries are) and work for state agencies when asked (blackmailed).
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fullspectrumdev
9 months ago
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There was a fantastic conversation in the leaked chat logs from the Conti/Trickbot groupings where one of them asks if they will be putting on their “young pioneer hats”, and other chats referencing being given tasks by the security services.

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).

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enkid
9 months ago
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I'm pretty sure Russian hackers target former USSR countries. Estonia and Ukraine come to mind, but I would imagine all of the Baltic states, Georgia, and Moldova would be ok as well.
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nurgasemetey
9 months ago
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There was an article about this -https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/05/try-this-one-weird-trick... . Basically, malicious programs will not target hosts that have Cyrillic or other languages of Russian aligned countries.
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enkid
9 months ago
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There have been a ton of attacks originating from Russia against Ukraine and Estonia very publicly. Read Sandworm for a deep dive. Just because some hackers are lazy and use a Cyrillic keyboard as a lazy man's geofencing does not mean these countries are off limits.
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nurgasemetey
9 months ago
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Yes, I agree with you. I just remember some countries were not targeted by Russian hackers, think like some agreement.
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mistrial9
9 months ago
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I read a lot of James Bond novels, so I can imagine what goes on...
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MattGaiser
9 months ago
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I know a guy in a country who has many friends doing this.

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.

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spacecadet
9 months ago
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Something others are forgetting to list, many of these "criminals" are themselves being exhorted or trafficked.
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mistrial9
9 months ago
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I think you are right but the hook is not captivity, but rather simple drug and vice addiction
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IG_Semmelweiss
9 months ago
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Anecdata of 4 call centers, yet no one in this video really seems like someone that being exhorted to do crime

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsLJZyih3Ac

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niel1
9 months ago
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Could you please share any sources or references that support your point?
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random_ind_dude
9 months ago
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Here is a report from the UN on forced criminality.

https://www.unodc.org/roseap/uploads/documents/Publications/...

The report is for Southeast Asia, but the same may apply for India too.

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niel1
9 months ago
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Indian Subcontinent is geographically, culturally, and demographically extremely different from Southeast Asia.
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gorlilla
9 months ago
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So the underlying/fundamental UN doctrine and principles should somehow be different?

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.

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spacecadet
9 months ago
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Thank you.
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newsclues
9 months ago
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Perhaps class?

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.

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throwaway1
9 months ago
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Cannot help but admire how western armchair experts readily attributes caste and class to every problem in India. This is equivalent to saying all the white folks in the US are rich. It's not that easy or that black and white (pun intended). The biggest driver of social mobility is the economic status as is in every other country. Coming from a wealthy background opens a lot of doors. There are a lot of filthy rich folks who are from the "lower" class and there are dirt poor folks who are from the "upper" class. Really looking forward to the caste survey/census being planned after next year's elections. Though I suspect the political class will either try to delay it again (as has been done multiple times before) or manipulate the data to suit their narrative.
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jabradoodle
9 months ago
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> The biggest driver of social mobility is the economic status as is in every other country.

This is a key component of class.

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newsclues
9 months ago
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Sorry, I don't think class/caste is exclusively an Indian problem, notice I didn't use the caste term that is normally used in India?

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.

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enkid
9 months ago
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The commenter didn't say anything about caste.
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slashtab
9 months ago
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Class/Caste has 0 relevance to this problem.
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newsclues
9 months ago
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I think people that say something has zero relevance without any evidence are desperate to hide the truth.
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joshxyz
9 months ago
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well poverty is the most common theme on this one.

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.

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rmbyrro
9 months ago
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Unbelievable how someone can have such a distorted view
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newsclues
9 months ago
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As an intelligent and hardworking low class person living in Canada, I feel that I often bump into a glass ceiling.

Thanks for downplaying my life experience. Maybe next time, try to engage without totally dismissing peoples feelings!

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rmbyrro
9 months ago
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As someone coming from a low class family, living in an underdeveloped country, I concentrate my attention on what's positive.

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.

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newsclues
9 months ago
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Your are right, and I focus on what I can control to improve my life, but I am not ignorant of the struggles I face or the advantages of others.

I’m being realistic not a victim.

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rmbyrro
9 months ago
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Did this realistic view provide you with any good results or advances in the aspects you aspire for your life?

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.

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qart
9 months ago
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Could you please elaborate on how you have hit the glass ceiling? I don't know much about workplaces in Canada. I can speak about India: at least in software, class does not play much of a role. Factories and older domains have more rigid hierarchies. Government offices and family-owned businesses are are especially notorious for this. There are other glass ceilings which vary from office to office. For example, smokers or drinkers could form cliques where crucial workplace politics gets discussed. Thankfully, the software industry has been a good equalizer for two reasons. Quite a lot of the bosses have worked in Western environments that were not so obsequious. It's easier for a solo developer to prove himself, especially after the work-from-home trends began.
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tiznow
9 months ago
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Really asking, what do software developers have to do with dudes at a cyber cafe engaging in social engineering?
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niel1
9 months ago
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Could you please share any sources or references that support your conjecture?
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newsclues
9 months ago
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I don't think it's an unresearched topic here is the result of a quick Google search... https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/podcast/knowledge-at-wha...

But my comments are based on my personal and family life experience.

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niel1
9 months ago
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This article is about the classes lower on economical ladder where the education is expensive. In India in contrast, 1) education is not expensive, 2) has reservations for the classes considered lower on economical, caste/community, gender scales. So this conjecture does not hold true because of the ground realities. Scammers are criminal elements who want to make a quick buck like everywhere else in the World and there are plenty of options available for deserving candidates, based on talent, qualifications and relevant experience, and definitely not on their background.
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rusticpenn
9 months ago
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Hard to get these jobs.
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supriyo-biswas
9 months ago
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The article confounds cybercrime and the IT industry.

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.)

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mattw2121
9 months ago
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My understanding of scammers in India has been formed by Youtube videos, where the host "scams the scammer", and from the Reply All podcast (https://gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all/6nh3wk).

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.

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spacecadet
9 months ago
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Even "mobs" operated as legit businesses. Agreed, to suggest some of the criminals would not attempt the same ruse is nieve.
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lo_zamoyski
9 months ago
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Some rich businessmen in India are implicated in these scams as well. That is, they operate legit businesses on the whole, but, say, have a floor in a high rise of theirs that’s a scammer call center.
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niel1
9 months ago
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Could you please share any sources or references that support your argument?
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edgineer
9 months ago
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Mark Rober's video mentions co-location of scammers with legit business, naming them

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsLJZyih3Ac&t=320

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Hikikomori
9 months ago
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From what I've seen of every phone scammer case they're in an office and look like a normal call centre.
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pjmq
9 months ago
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If you follow Youtubers like Jim Browning that tackle this sort of scam-based cybercrime operations then this will come as absolutely no surprise to you.
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alephnerd
9 months ago
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Scam-based cybercrime is an offshoot of the BPO and Call Center industry. This is why cities with a weak software scene but strong BPO scene like Kolkata are highly represented.
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imiric
9 months ago
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This is a rampant industry in the US as well. The Telemarketers mini-series shows how these call centers operate, the scams they run, how police associations are involved, and how the government is basically complicit with what they're doing. This must be even easier and more profitable to operate from a more corrupt country with no regulations or law enforcement of these activities.

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.

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alephnerd
9 months ago
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There is regulation for this in India (eg. Each call center needs to be licensed, needs an actual registered owner/point of contact, etc) but if you are doing this with political cover you might be protected. For example, if I am running a scam call center in Kolkata, I'd need to pay off the political party that controls that state - the TMC. And similar stuff happens in other states among all parties.

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)

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lotsofpulp
9 months ago
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What is bpo?
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55555
9 months ago
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Business Process Outsourcing. It typically means call centers / customer support centers / etc.
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fareesh
9 months ago
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A lot of these operations have a full fledged office and everything. Unsure whether it's corruption or incompetence or both that prevents them from shutting them down and arresting everyone involved.
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reisse
9 months ago
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The problem is, these call centers are more outsiders problem than Indian problem. Indian authorities have zero interest in shutting them down. Call centers are not scamming Indians, there are no complaints from local people to police, and probably police gets their share too.
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slowmotiony
9 months ago
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There's the reputation loss in the eyes of the international community, shouldn't the authorities have some interest in not letting India be perceived as a country that allows theft and organized crime?
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reisse
9 months ago
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Have you seen politicians accusing Indian government in allowing theft and organised crime? Because if not, there is no reputation loss. And I think politicians can close their eyes on the few scammers here and there for the access to Indian markets.

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.

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llm_nerd
9 months ago
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"Because if not, there is no reputation loss."

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[1] 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.

[1] 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.

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reisse
9 months ago
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> Much of the world views India as a corrupt, low-trust society

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[1] on ugly Westerners

I haven't stated that it is my opinion.

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llm_nerd
9 months ago
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The "you" in that comment were the people who you were characterizing.

>Not really sure if much of the world shares your opinion.

https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2022

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.

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subtra3t
9 months ago
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Not the guy you're replying to, but:

> 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.

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llm_nerd
9 months ago
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>would have good ties with such a nation

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.

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subtra3t
9 months ago
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> become formidable on its own

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 [0].

> 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 [1] 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.

[0]: https://news.gallup.com/poll/472421/canada-britain-favored-r...

[1]: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/us-says-cuba-not-coop...

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llm_nerd
9 months ago
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>Again, it appears that you are the only one with this view

Sure.

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[1] relative to many peers, despite enormous advantages. If a twisted national pride blinds you to this, that's a you problem.

[1] - 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").

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subtra3t
9 months ago
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> I don't think the discussion is of value.

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 [0], 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.

[0]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_India

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user_7832
9 months ago
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> An economy with a strong scam and corruption basis will always falter.

Do you genuinely believe India makes a significant amount of its GDP from scam centres and corruption?

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llm_nerd
9 months ago
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That doesn't follow from what I said. Scam centres might contribute an absolutely tiny, minuscule amount of economic activity. But the fact that they openly exist, do effectively nothing to hide, and authorities do little to nothing to combat it, demonstrates pervasive corruption and criminality.
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slowmotiony
9 months ago
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Yes.
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user_7832
9 months ago
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I doubt the Indian Govt doesn’t care about this. But it’s likely that the overworked policeman would rather solve an extra murder case than go after a scam office. Iirc there have been arrests made in the past by the Kolkata police, but it’s probably a whack-a-mole x inadequate resource problem.
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anaganisk
9 months ago
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No intension to be snarky at all but Did the US govt give one shit about wallstreet, after FINANCIAL CRISIS? I mean it's a far bigger rep loss causing a cascading across the world. But everything is back where it was before FC. Still US is not perceived as a country that allows wall street to control it, at least the rest of the world doesn't think of it as so.
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dotnet00
9 months ago
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I think you'll find that it is a very common criticism of the US system that it often seems subservient to large companies, especially financial institutions.
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concordDance
9 months ago
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That reputation loss definitely isn't going to outweigh the money coming into their local economy thanks to the scams.
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__rito__
9 months ago
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NO.

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.

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slashtab
9 months ago
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>Outsiders Problem

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.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/309435/india-cyber-crime...

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navigate8310
9 months ago
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Their disinterest arises from politicians and local police also benefiting from these scammers' earnings.
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niel1
9 months ago
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Could you please share any sources or references that support your argument that Indians are not scammed?
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jowea
9 months ago
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The report this article is based on says about half of cybercrime is UPI fraud, so internal to India.
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fareesh
9 months ago
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Not true - there are local scams as well
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BeFlatXIII
9 months ago
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See also: ransomware and the Russians.
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rightbyte
9 months ago
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The scam centres probably don't market them self as scam centres if the authorities ask. To prove that they are scamming people is probably quite hard.
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shmde
9 months ago
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Cops are paid a share most probably for them to continue scamming.
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waihtis
9 months ago
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no mention of revenue generated by this activity, but it's not far-fetched to suggest it's a significant source of income for locals and thus a blind eye is turned to it, willfully or via bribery
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fareesh
9 months ago
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The scams target locals too, it isn't limited to international victims only
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oblio
9 months ago
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Why would they be shut down? They're probably registered as call centers and at least some of their income is declared, thus legal.

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?

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fareesh
9 months ago
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There are plenty of scams targeting locals too though
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2Gkashmiri
9 months ago
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I am an attorney based out of srinagar, j&k.

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.

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turbo_fart
9 months ago
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You need to message kitboga on YouTube. He is a big deal in indian call centre anti-scamming. Also he is hilarious and a genius
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2Gkashmiri
9 months ago
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i have no google account so yeah!!!!
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anukin
9 months ago
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The headline is misleading once you read the article. The biggest tech centres in India are Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Pune. The centers of crime according to the article are Bharatpur, Mathura and Gurgaon. The cases are rising in Bangalore according to the article.

How does these facts convert to the headline of `India's biggest tech centers are cyber crime hot spots`?

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morbidious
9 months ago
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While the article and research states that majority of fraud comes from UPI (47.1%), it seems as though the fraud involves the victim voluntarily entering their pin to transfer funds to the perpetrator.[1]

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.

[1]: https://www.businesstoday.in/tech-today/trending/story/upi-s...

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__rito__
9 months ago
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You are totally off the mark here.

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.

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riddleronroof
9 months ago
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Very odd that criminals go where the money is
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pomian
9 months ago
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The interesting question of course, is who is paying for these services.
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darkstar_16
9 months ago
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Interesting that they used "Bharat" in the name. Without going political, sounds like an article one can ignore.
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martin_a
9 months ago
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By having a look at the Wikipedia article [1] I don't see how this name would be a problem?!?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_for_India#Bh%C4%81rata

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nsvd
9 months ago
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The term has become a political dog whistle recently.
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yipbub
9 months ago
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Yes, but this doesn't seem like that usage. It's neutral on those issues.
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jowea
9 months ago
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There's been some political controversy with the right-wing government favouring the Bharat name very recently. Nobody seems to have updated the Wikipedia article yet.
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morbidious
9 months ago
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These right-wing, left-wing terms have come from the west and violated with a negative connotation from the west. Don't defile anything in the east with these vile implications that the western nazis have come to associate with. We in the east are civilized people, not genocidal barbarians. Thank you.
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morbidious
9 months ago
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Article 1 of the Constitution states that “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” It's crucial to emphasise that Article 1 of the Constitution recognises both 'India' and 'Bharat' as official names for the country.[1]

[1]: https://www.indiatoday.in/law-today/story/india-or-bharat-re...

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throwaway1
9 months ago
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Why is this downvoted? This is literally from the Indian constitution.
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jowea
9 months ago
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Lack of context IMHO. The issue is controversial and the post is acting like it isn't.
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morbidious
9 months ago
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So now hard facts are considered controversial?
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jowea
9 months ago
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If there was a thread about a mass shooting in the US, and a non-American asked something like "people in the US are allowed to own assault rifles?!?" and someone answered with the literal text of the 2th amendment and no other explanation, would you think that's a good comment?
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morbidious
9 months ago
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Yes, I think it is a good comment because it answers the question exactly to the point. However, if there is an implied question as to 'why' people should be able to own arms, then of course it's better to elaborate further.
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morbidious
9 months ago
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Welcome to HN, my friend. People here self-claim to be of high intellectual standards and follow facts. But what I see is a network embroiled in degeneracy. Unfortunate.
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Lolaccount
9 months ago
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The context is that the current government have been pushing for the name change from India to Bharat, to appease the hard line hindutvas India ... or, at least, the, nationlists.
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morbidious
9 months ago
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The context is that the user is calling to ignore the article completely based on one word they read.

Are you telling me you approve of such standards of intellectual prowess?

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Obscurity4340
9 months ago
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Is nice
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