Tricksters and fraudsters

Source : Google photo of tricksters and scammers

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Synopsis: There have always been tricksters and fraudulent people who took advantage of the gullible and greedy people but now they have become more sophisticated because they now use computers in call centers to scam people around the world. It has become a multibillion-dollar industry that shows no sign of abating. The blog looks at their modus operandi and warns you to stay away from them.

As we see the development of the computer technology that has made it easy for anyone to send e mail messages, photos and videos or talk for free on Skype or Zoom to anyone anywhere anytime, we also notice a phenomenal rise in Cybercrime. It affects the older generation more than anyone else because they tend to be less computer savvy and have no idea how the computer works and how some bad people get hold of them and cajole them to reveal their credit card numbers or other sensitive bank data. They are called the cyber criminals who are mostly young meaning less than 30 years of age and who speak English fluently although with an accent.

It works like this. Just suppose you are an old woman in California, and you have a glitch with your computer, so you click on a link for the technical service of the manufacturer of your hardware and ask for their help in resolving your problems. What you do not know is that clicking the link will bring you to a website the cyber criminals operate somewhere in the world and promise to solve your technical issues.

They will talk to you in a soothing and smart voice and assure you that your problems will be solved if you answer a few questions and provide some information about your credit card number or bank account number. These criminals can see your screen and what you are typing so nothing is hidden from them. They will also say that the service to solve your particular problem will cost you 350 dollars and 99 cents or some such figure and ask if you are willing to proceed. If you agree, then they will deduct this amount from your account within seconds. The USD 350.99 is the red flag so turn off your PC immediately although it may be too late.

If you have doubts about them because of their Un-American accent and ask them who they are and from where they are calling, they will tell you that they are located somewhere in California and they represent the company that sold you the hardware.

What they will never tell you is that they are calling you from a call center in India or the Philippines or some other location and they are scammers who will empty your account as soon as you call them for their service, and they will vanish leaving no trace like a phantom. They are very computer savvy people who know how to bait an old person who does not understand how the Internet works and how they can see your screen, what you are typing and what you look like. They do not represent any company that sold you your computer but are experts in guiding you to their trap and gently cajole you to reveal your sensitive information.

This type of cybercrime is committed daily to victimize millions of people all over the world and has become a multibillion-dollar industry that keeps on growing but the authorities have a very difficult time to catch them, arrest them and prosecute them because the policemen are not well educated to understand the complexity of the technology, so these fake call centers are sprouting like mushrooms in big cities of India and the Philippines.

The policemen often say that the crime was committed in another country, so it is outside their jurisdiction or some such lame excuse. Believe it or not, most people still do not understand how the Internet works and how it connects to computers in other countries with blazing speed so these criminals take advantage of the technology ignorance of their victims and openly brag that the police will never catch them and prosecute them.

This crime is so lucrative for them that they say that just in 24 hours they can earn enough money to last a month so now you can understand why young people of both sexes are attracted to work in these spurious call centers where they can make so much money just by making some calls.

Many cyber criminals start out as legitimate technical experts working for some big companies where they learn all the intricacies of how to work on the computer and its various programs. Later they open up their own call centers to work fulltime because they know that they cannot be caught easily or sent to jail. With the money earned they move into posh residences, buy fancy cars and other things but their greed for more money is insatiable.

There is a modern multistory glass and steel building in the posh business district of Gurugram that is just near Delhi where the ground and a few floors are occupied by the big technology companies who operate their legitimate business, but all the rest of the floors are filled with these fake call centers reaping millions of dollars from their illegal activities. Such call centers have sprouted in most of the big cities like Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai just to name a few. They are very busy making calls in the middle of the night when it is the daytime somewhere else in the world and use late model computers and peripherals like cameras, high speed computers, modems and super sensitive microphones etc.

These call centers have also become vice centers where young men and women come in close contact with each other day after day, so the biology starts to kick in when they are alone during the night. You can imagine the rest. It is inevitable that at some point drugs and alcohol start flowing as well.

Here is a video that explains it all in vivid details :

Source : U tube video

Now the smart phones serve the same purpose as a personal computer so you can use your phone to connect to the Internet, call someone on skype or send e mails, photos and videos to anyone anytime. The smart phones come with high-definition camera that can take still or video photos even in dim light.

These smart phones have become so popular that the scammers in rural areas use them to lure in their victims and promise them the delivery of a new car or something to their doors if they simply pay the reservation fee of few thousand Rupees. Once they receive the money in their account, they vanish while the victim waits for his car that never arrives. When they see the police, vans are approaching their village, they scatter like birds. They even fill the dirt roads with water so that the police vehicles bog down in the mud while the criminal’s escape.

They say that they are retired army men because people trust Army people more than others. These scams are mostly local, so the scammers need only know fluent Hindi. They destroy their SIM cards every three days so that their phones cannot be traced by the police.

Now the Indian government is hiring young people who are experts in IT (Information technology) and have rich experience to fight Cybercrimes. They infiltrate the call centers by posing as their customers and can remotely see their computer screen to see what they are typing to expose them. The data thus obtained are then used by the police to shut them down, but they sprout up somewhere else within days. Rarely these types of criminals are prosecuted so they carry on just like before. They are also very good in hiding their identity because they know how.

It is like the FBI in the United States that often hires ex-cons and ex cyber criminals who have served their time and now teach the FBI how to catch the scammers. There was a movie made on the subject, but I have forgotten the title.

So, if you are over 50, living alone and have technical glitches with your PC, please do not click on these toll-free numbers. Turn off your PC immediately before the scammers download your data. You should see a red flag as soon as the scammer in a foreign accent asks for your credit card number or your bank account number. A reputed company that sells the hardware will never ask you for these data so the safest way is to go to a reliable store where a trained technician will easily solve your problem for a small fee. These technicians are trained by the big companies in problem solving so you should ask the companies where their legitimate service centers are.

Unfortunately, our world is full of con people who pose as door-to-door salesmen or insurance sellers, property sellers etc. They are found in every country who take advantage of old and vulnerable people.

Once I started receiving e mails that said that I had won a huge amount in a lottery that I had never participated in and asked for a big amount as a service fee before they will send me the money. I knew it was a scam, so I answered in big red letters … You have been notified to the Interpol that will soon arrest you no matter where you live.  It was a bluff, but the scammer did not know that.

The emails stopped coming because it put fear in them. Then I started receiving e mails from a Nigerian scammer who claimed that she is the daughter of a general who is in prison somewhere, but she had access to his loot. Now she needs me to give her my bank account number so that she can transfer this loot to my account for a 10 percent fee that she will pay me. Again, I warned this con person that he or she will be prosecuted soon because I have alerted the authorities and have given them his e mail address. The e mails stopped. I do not know why there are so many scammers in Nigeria in particular.

I know a city in India called Jalandhar in Punjab state that is well known for all sorts of scammers. They are so bold that they advertise their racket in Newspapers and find some suckers who are greedy so easily fall into their trap. We all know about the pyramid scammers so beware. There was one pyramid scammer in the United States who was called Madoff who is now serving time for all the money he stole.

If his name alone did not raise a red flag, then you need some serious counseling my friend. If something is too good to be true, then you can be sure it never is.

Note: My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски

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Bane of negative programming

Source: Google photo of a religious school called madrasa in India

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Synopsis: The spread of radicalism in some religions has brought upon the humanity the curse of hatred, intolerance of others and outright violence that the whole world suffers from. Now people are demanding reforms that will eliminate radical thinking and promote peace and harmony among all people. This can only be achieved through a holistic approach to education of a child that opens his mind to the world of knowledge that prepares him better to cope with the challenges of the modern world.

We are conditioned to think and act in a certain way that starts to define who we are at a certain age. This conditioning starts at an early stage of our life when a child comes under pressure to conform to the strict rules and regulations as spelled out for him by his elders. While it may be necessary for a child to learn what he can do or cannot do so that he can easily conform, often the methods used by his elders to make him conform can and should be questioned.

We should ask if a child must be subjected to harsh training to conform at an age when he needs the freedom of expression and to choose what he or she wants to do that should be his or her fundamental right. The elders who are his parents, schoolteachers or relatives may feel that it is their duty to teach the kids what is right and what is wrong so that he acts accordingly later in his life. The methods used to imprint their ideas of right or wrong on the child varies from country to country, from one religion to other and from one set of parents to another within a given community. (read my blog here called Imprinting https://aumolc.wordpress.com/2021/03/20/imprinting/  )

Some families teach tolerance of other faiths and set of beliefs to the child while others take a more radical approach where a child is taught to believe and practice a belief system that borders on fundamentalism that later may have a very negative impact on the development of a child making him unfit to live in harmony with others who are not like him. This is called negative programming that is the subject of this blog today.

A child is born innocent and is free from any belief or guidelines at first but it does not last long because the negative programing of his brain starts early meaning as soon as he or she learns to understand words and their impact on him or her. If the parents, his teachers and his elders try to teach him good moral values, good habits and manners then it may have a positive impact on his development. The teachers play a crucial role in the development of a child when they teach him how to read and write and provide books to read to gain knowledge.

Later the child develops the habit of reading books on various subjects because he is naturally curious to learn about zillion things, so a good teacher provides him with the opportunity to do so. The parents may provide him with books other than what is prescribed in his school so that he may gain wider knowledge of history, geography, social science or technical matters depending on his interest so that he can develop a healthy personality with keen interest in reading and learning about subjects that are not covered in his school.

But some people think that it is their duty to imprint on their kids their belief system early so that they become their clones in order to perpetuate their religious beliefs generation after generation. This action on their part is motivated by their belief system that they learned from their parents who often use harsh methods like physical punishment for a recalcitrant kid who shows signs of rebellion against strict learning regimes.

We have heard of young girls or boys raised by their parents with strict rules running away from their suffocating conditions so that they can breathe the free air of liberty of choice, but we also know that such kids often run into trouble by running away and joining a group that leads them into more trouble.

The hippie movement of the 1960 that grew out of the protest against war and persecution of others in the United States spread to many countries that made millions of young people join. It led to street protest, jail terms for many and an exodus of young people to other countries to avoid mandatory draft into the army.

But this sort of protest nationwide and even worldwide had a positive impact on their governments to end the war in Vietnam and other wars. The massive protest in France against the colonial rule in Algeria and the torture of a teen-age girl Djamila Boupacha led to the independence of Algeria. This protest was based on moral grounds because they fought for justice.

But when the negative programming starts in a child’s life, it has a far sinister consequence for him that at first, he fails to understand but later begins to realize that he has painted himself into a corner that he finds difficult to come out of. The rise of worldwide terrorism in every continent is one such outcome due to this harsh negative programming they were subjected to in their religious schools where they were taught intolerance of other faiths and hatred for people who are not like them.

The question to ask here is why some people feel that it is their duty to teach their kids intolerance and dislike for others who are not like them. There was a child who sought me out every Sunday in our college cafeteria where I worked to ask me why I was not following Jesus. She always said “my mom says…’ I could not make her understand that people have a right to be different and have a choice to believe or not to believe in something, but she always said that “her mom said… etc.

Obviously, she was an innocent child who was curious and wanted to know more on the subject of belief system but was being negatively programmed by her mother who was an avid church goer and a Bible thumper to boot. So, I consider the children to be the innocent victims of those who try to make them clones like them who in their own childhood were made clones of their parents.

It is logical to think that the parents who were harshly raised by their parents when young would consider for their children the freedom of choice and be more supportive of them in their all-round development, but the opposite happens.  

The solution as being introduced in India for the first time is to give children of certain community’s access to modern education that can wean them away from the fundamentalist schools that only teach intolerance and hatred for other faiths. The modern education provides them with the knowledge of numerous subjects, the use of computers and access to the worldwide pool of knowledge on any subject. Such modern schools are opening up in numerous states in India where the government provides the funding, qualified teachers and the computers for the children. It is wildly popular with the children who were previously taught by their religious teachers the fundamentalism of their religion and nothing else.

Source: Google photo of a modern school for children in India

Children who attend madrassas in both India and Pakistan are from backward, poor, underprivileged and financially impoverished families. These families however are also unfortunately large. In essence poverty and ignorance at work simultaneously results in the inability of parents to fully provide for their children resulting in madrassa enrollments. So, children are sent to madrassas as a result of this poverty. There, children are taught not just religious education, but are clothed, fed and raised – something these families simply cannot manage.

There is a dire need to revisit madrassa curriculum. There are loud voices in Pakistan demanding this reform; to include sciences, mathematics and general sciences along with religion to be imparted to these students, to eliminate the threat of nefarious forces using these innocent children for their nefarious designs.

Madrasas teach kids to become radical Islamist, but such teachings have no real-life value in modern times. That’s the same reason why the Father of the nation of Turkey Kemal Ataturk banned Madrasa education from Turkey to make it a modern country. Hence, Turkish culture is the most forward and modern culture in the Islamic world.

On the other hand, we have countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan etc where Madrasa culture has deteriorated the social fabric of those countries and has made them epicenter of radical Islam. Madrasas work by depriving a person of his critical thinking regimen. Once a person is deprived of critical thinking by age 16, it’s safe to assume he can easily be radicalized.

So, while most madrasas directly don’t encourage radicalism, they indirectly end up contributing to radicalism by making their students more vulnerable to it by depriving them of critical thinking.

In a typical madrasa, the most glaring difference with a public school is how the teacher handles a cross questioning student. In a public school, the cross question will either be entertained or at worst ignored. In a madrasa asking a cross question to the teacher results in severe thrashing. So, the student just becomes an instruction taking tool like a hard disc. He can only digest info, not process it.

The hard-core fundamentalism is not unique to Islam. It exists in many religions but with the spread of education, people have started to realize the value of education that prepares the young people to meet the challenges in their life better than their parents. The study of numerous subjects including religion makes them more knowledgeable and tolerant of people of other faiths, ethnicity, race and beliefs. This leads to better social harmony in any country.

In Europe, people have started to move away from the fundamentalist practices of the previous generation by rejecting it and not attending churches and not joining convents or religious schools that train the future priests and nuns. As a result, the church attendance has drastically fallen in many countries. Many countries face a shortage of priests and nuns so one priest is required to service many churches by turn. In other countries the churches employ foreign priests and nuns.

The only way to discourage the spread of radicalism is to give the young people the tools that they can use to meet all their challenges in life. It means giving them all the opportunities to get the kind of education and skills that prepares them better in the modern world. This is how each individual becomes a better person who contributes to the development of his country. Such a person becomes an asset and not a liability to any community and country because he is an educated person who is tolerant and respectful of others who are not like him.

Shouldn’t your child be one of them?  

Note: My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography:

Mes blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

tumblr posts    

Blogger.com

Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русски