Jamtara, a district in Jharkhand, holds special significance for cybercops here, leaving them in a heightened state of alert every time the place crops up during the course of their investigation. The place figures so frequently during probes into financial frauds that they call it the country’s cybercrime capital.
“Financial frauds are often perpetrated from Jamtara besides Mumbai and Delhi. The easy access to mobile SIM cards on fake addresses and bank account details from West Bengal makes Jamtara the hub of financial frauds. This makes tracking down fraudsters harder since their addresses and actual location will be different,” said M.J. Abhilash, Inspector, Cybercrime station, Kochi Range.
50 cases in 2 months
Just two months into its formation, the Cyber Crime Station covering the police districts of Kochi City, Ernakulam Rural, Idukki, Alappuzha and Kottayam is looking into over 50 cases of which 20 are from Ernakulam alone.
The expertise of the station, which has 17 personnel, is roped in for serious offences like source code theft, hacking, and high profile financial crimes.
Thriving in Kochi
With Kochi residents increasingly turning to Unified Payment Interface (UPI) apps for various payments, digital banking fraud seems to be on the rise.
From job scams and gift scams to phishing sites and duping through fake e-commerce portals, all conceivable cyber frauds are being reported in Kochi. “Our officials frequently conduct awareness classes in educational institutions to educate them about the dangers lurking in the cyberspace and alert them against online frauds,” said Mr. Abhilash.
There are other initiatives like e-jagratha, a brainchild of former Ernakulam district collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla, under which schoolchildren are trained on safe and effective use of the Internet with the technical support of Tata Consultancy Services.
The project, which has won national and international awards since its launch in 2016, was expanded to cover 12,000 high school students in 101 government schools in its fourth phase launched last year.