‘New Jamtara’: Mewat scammers ensnare targets with porn video calls

As cyber criminals and scamsters devise new methods to con people, anonymous video calls on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, showing nude girls on the other side as part of ‘sextortion, are growing in India and the tri-junction of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh is now being called the “New Jamtara”.

Cyber criminals from the region make a quick video of the person watching the porn clip, and the harassment begins. The victims receive audio calls where they are asked to shell out money via digital payment apps quickly, else the cyber thugs would post these screenshots on Facebook for their friends and family members to see.

According to cyber experts, in a reminiscence of Jamtara-type mobile frauds, the notorious gangs of Mewat region have resurfaced, extorting money from people by blackmailing them with such WhatsApp video callings.

The gangs operate in the Mewat region of Haryana. Further, Bhiwadi, Tijara, Kishangarh Bas, Ramgarh, Laxmangarh in Alwar and Nagar, Pahadi and Govindgarh in Bharatpur are also the main areas where these cyber thugs are operating from.

The Rajasthan police registered complaints of cheating to the tune of Rs 55.56 crore in just 8 months in 2021.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police last October arrested the mastermind of an interstate sextortion gang from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur.

According to police, the gang led by Nasir (25) has been indulging in extorting money from reputed persons after blackmailing them with their obscene pictures and videos.

At least 36 gangs have been busted and 600 accused arrested by Alwar police in the ‘sextortion’ case.

During the pandemic, there has been a surge in such activities. Cyber criminals run recorded porn videos, and then send your recording back to you, asking for money which could be anywhere from Rs 10,000 to over a few lakh.

“If denied, they threaten to share your porn-watching video in your social media circles and the mental harassment begins afterwards,” independent cyber security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia told IANS.

According to Rajaharia, if you do not give in to their demands immediately, there are chances that they won’t share your porn video with others, as doing this will invite trouble for them if the person goes to the cyber police with their contact details.

“However, the victims must quickly contact the cyber branch of police in their respective areas. When you receive an anonymous call, do not pick it immediately. Try to find out the identity of that anonymous person via SMS or WhatsApp chat first, and then check if that person belongs to your known circle of acquaintances or not,” the cyber expert advised.

“Even if you have taken the anonymous WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger video call, switch off or cover your camera,” he added.

The Rajasthan police are hopeful of soon having dedicated cyber police stations especially in the Mewat region including Bharatpur and Alwar, along with new police stations in the districts close to other state borders, to curb the growing menace of cyber crime.

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