Noida: Police Bust Bogus Call Centre, 126 People Arrested For Duping US Citizens
In one of the biggest raids conducted by the Noida police so far, 126 people from a fake call centre were arrested on December 21 for allegedly extorting money from US citizens. Reportedly, the call centre, duped US citizens to the tune of USD 3500 by intimidating with FBI arrest over discrepancies in their social security number.
The raid was conducted on late Thursday night in the call centre which is located in Noida’s Sector 63. Apart from questioning and arresting operators and callers, 312 computer units were seized and cash worth over Rs 20 lakh was recovered.
Bogus call centre duped US Citizens
News18 reported Gautam Buddh Nagar Superintendent of Police Ajay Pal Sharma as telling PTI that the callers used to pose as Social Security Department officials and tell US citizens that their social security pin (a unique nine-digit number given to US citizens) has been stolen and that they need to pay penalty money to get the issue resolved. Reportedly, the callers used to drop a voice message on the victims’ call mailbox number detailing the issue and urge callers to call back, who would then become a prey.
The callers would then ask for up to USD 3,500 and transfer it through target purchasing of “playstore cards.” The call centre owners would then encash it using their aides in Dubai, China and the US. “The call centre would make USD 50,000 every night on an average by duping gullible Americans,” the SSP, who is leading the investigation, said. Moreover, the perpetrators used to talk in English with an American accent and used Truecaller to find names of people they would want to call up, to minimise suspicion.
According to India Today, the raid, which lasted for 17 hours was the result of a tip-off from the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) in the USA. The agency has been in contact with police forces in Noida as well.
Previous cases of police raids
Reportedly, between July 20 and December 21 of 2018, 25 bogus call centres were busted for running similar dubious operations. During the process, close to 300 people were arrested while 400 computers were seized. While cases of fake call centres duping Indians in the name of cheap holiday packages were already making headlines, the series of raids show how foreigners too, are susceptible to falling prey.
Reportedly, the FBI’s collaboration with Indian law enforcement agents have been hailed as a “great example” by the US’s embassy here in India. Meanwhile, the police are yet to nab the masterminds behind these bogus call centres operating out of Noida.