In the Indian state of Maharashtra in Thane, near Mumbai, the police arrested 70 people and interviewed a few hundred, while investigating a case of a large-scale telephone fraud in which thousands of Americans lost millions of dollars, according to CBSNews.com. The scammers on the phone was posing as tax officials, the US and demanding payment of the taxes, extorted from the Americans a large sum of money.
The scheme of divorce from time to time varied, but in General looked like this: fake call centers were sent to US citizens text or voice messages with a warning about tax debt and demanding to call back. Those who call back, the scammers seemed to Christopher or Daniel from the IRS and state authority in charge of collecting taxes and controlling compliance with legislation about taxation.
Imitating an American accent, the caller was assured the caller that he owes a debt and the police for half an hour will come for him if he does not repay it immediately. Among the victims were asked to purchase gift certificates from different companies, from other criminals elicit details of Bank cards and cheated money from them.
At a press conference, writes The Wall Street Journal, the police turned on the audio recording of one of the “bad” calls that the caller failed to separate. Indian said the “client” that he had not paid taxes for 11 $ 780, threatened him with arrest for several hours, to imprisonment for five years and fined 100 thousand dollars, and then offered to solve the problem.
Then the call was transferred to senior tax officer, who demanded to go to the pharmacy Walgreens and buy a gift certificate Apple iTunes for a thousand dollars. Such calls daily were hundreds, and other American taxpayers were more compliant and parted with the sums from 500 to 60 thousand dollars.
As Reuters reports, India has a large number of call centers of the North American and European companies. Thousands of offices process the information from utility payments to bills for loans, so calls from people with strong Indian accent, not at all caused suspicion. According to investigators, worked for one or two of the hundreds of calls.
Scam brought on the day from 90 to 150 thousand dollars, said Deputy Commissioner of police Thane Parag Manner. The total sum he did not name, but for the year it could be from 36 to 55 million dollars. “We’re interviewing everyone who participated in the fraudulent scheme, including those posing as tax investigators,” – said Manner.
As reported by The New York Times, the cooperation has been attracted by the US authorities to determine the whereabouts of the victims. It was found that in the U.S. the fraudsters were accomplices, with whom the Indians shared 30% of revenue.
According to Indian television channel NDTV, in the territory of the U.S. the company has collected personal information of victims and forwarded them to the “processing” in the call centers. Indian TV channel notes that some of the employees of the call center barely graduated from high school or College, and their parents claim that the children themselves were mistaken in believing that doing legitimate work.
During the raids, which involved about 200 police officers, in the offices was detained 772 employees, of which 70 were arrested, 72 are released, the others will be questioned. The police raided the office “call center” and seized hundreds of hard drives, servers and other electronic equipment. “They were amazed to see the police. They did not think that the police will come for them,” – said Manner.
Among the arrested there are people who headed the group, and those who provided equipment for the call, as well as managers and accountants. Criminal case filed for extortion, fraud, impersonation (impersonating another person), the use of criminal threats and violation of the laws of India in the field of information technology.