Delhi police have busted a massive syndicate running a fake call centre which has duped over 4500 foreign nationals of nearly Rs 100 crores. The cybercrime unit of the Delhi police arrested as many a 54 employees of this fake call centre on Friday, who posed as officials from various law enforcement agencies to dupe and extort money from foreign nationals. The call centre employees convinced the victims that they had to transfer money or risk going to jail.
The police also seized 90 desktops, more than 50 phones and a server from the illegal call centre being run from Moti Nagar area in the national capital. According to the information provided by a senior police official familiar with the case, the mastermind of this racket had been operating the fake call centre from Dubai. He has been identified only by his first name, Ashwani, and was known among his employees as Munshi. The accused allegedly targeted people living in the United States and other foreign countries.
The modus operandi
Speaking of the modus operandi of this fake call centre, police informed that the employees posed as officials from Social Security Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the US Marshals Service, etc, while targeting their prey. They would scare the victims that their bank details were found at a crime scene or have been found linked to drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia, and their accounts were likely to be seized. They also frightened them with immediate arrest or legal action.
Saying so they convinced their targets to go for an alternate dispute resolution (ADR) which would be faster and simpler. In the second option, which all the targets fell for, they were asked to share details of their assets, including bank accounts and the amount of money in those accounts. The accused then asked the victims to buy bitcoins or gift cards to keep money in a “safe government vault”. When the victims would succumb, the accused would transfer the money to their accounts.
DCP (Cyber Crime Unit) Anyesh Roy said: “We got inputs from sources about the fake call centre. When our team checked, they found the accused were making calls to foreign countries and cheating people. On Tuesday, we conducted a raid and arrested 54 persons from the centre.”
Police have also found that Ashwani has a criminal history of betting in Delhi and had long ago fled to Dubai. “Efforts are on to extradite him with the help of the ministry of external affairs,” Roy confirmed.