Call centre scam: 52 Indians among 61 indicted by US
Los angeles : In a strong action against India, the US Justice Department on Thursday indicted 61 individuals including 52 Indians following illegal activities.
The action was taken on charges of impersonation, fraud and money laundering in connection with an extraction scheme that scared Americans into paying nonexistent tax dues through threatening phone calls.
According to reports, 20 individuals have been arrested in the US and one is in the custody of immigration authorities, while 32 have been arrested in India. It is even considered that the India-based scamsters may be extradited to stand trial.
As per reports, the scam was majorly ran by a network of call centres in Ahmedabad who used to gather information from data brokers and other sources; then the call centre operators allegedly used to call the potential victims in the US and impersonated officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Later, they threatened potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government.
Such was the fraud that if the victims agreed to pay, the call centres immediately turned towards their network of US-based co-conspirators and asked them to transfer the funds as quickly as possible by purchasing prepaid debit cards or through wire transfers.
How the fraud took place?
Debit cards were often registered using misappropriated personal identifying information of thousands of identity theft victims.
Wire transfers were made by the criminal associates using fake names and fraudulent identifications.
Scamsters extracted money from victims who were too terrified of losing all savings.