Fake call center busted; 27 detainees for duping British and American residents
Police dismantled a bogus call center implicated in deceiving US and UK citizens of several thousand rupees and arrested 27 fraudsters, including four African nationals. The cops have recovered ₹14.5 hawala money, 22 desktops, nine laptops and 31 mobiles, as well as accessories, including LAN servers, Wi-Fi routers and Wi-Fi switches, of their possession.
The defendants operated the bogus call center at Chandan Towers at Pakhowal Road.
Police Commissioner Rakesh Agrawal informed that the bogus call center was operated by Lakhan Abrol, Yatin, Cain Masih and Titus in the tower owned by Somal Sood. All of them, along with their 22 employees, including four African nationals, were arrested.
The accused bought the data of the victims from ₹1 each
The gang employed the African nationals as they were fluent in English and could converse with British and American accents. They conversed with their targets on the phone, while the rest of the defendants helped them.
Agrawal said the fraudster bought the database illegally through the internet from ₹1 per person. The data included the name, cell phone number and other identifying details of the victims.
Revealing their modus operandi, Agrawal said callers approached citizens based in the UK and US through an internet calling (VoIP) application known as the VICI Dial App phone service. By calling British nationals, they were posing as British government officials, and by calling American victims, they were posing as Amazon employees, ”he added.
“Fraudsters used to tell UK victims that their identity had been used to commit tax evasion in their country and that criminal proceedings would be brought against them. When victims sought redress, callers, posing as representatives of the department’s executive, transferred the appeal to a senior “manager”, ”the police commissioner said.
The manager would then guide the target to transfer the amount temporarily to the accounts of their UK resident helpers. Targets were told that by doing this they could avoid the tax penalty.
Agrawal said half of the transferred amount was kept by the UK and US facilitators, while the rest was received by the defendant through hawala transactions. Police also found incriminating evidence of foreign payment gateways, fraudulent bank accounts and lakhs data of UK taxpayers. He said further investigations are underway to determine the total amount of fraud committed by the defendants and to track down their accomplices, including those who run their operations from the UK and the US.
An FIR under Articles 389 (putting a person in fear of being charged with an offense, in order to commit extortion), 467 (Forged value, will, etc.), 468 (Forgery for the purpose of cheating) , 471 (Use as authentic of a false document or electronic record), 420 (Cheating and dishonest inducement to deliver goods) and 120-B (criminal association) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and articles 66C, 66D and 75 of the Computer Law, was registered at division number 5 police station against the accused.