Call Centre that cheated foreign nationals of Rs 100 cr busted, 54 held

New Delhi, Dec 16 : The Delhi Police’s Cyber Crime Unit has busted a call centre in the city where employees impersonated various law enforcement agencies to cheat and extort money from unsuspecting people abroad, police said on Wednesday.

Foreign nationals from US and other countries were threatened with legal action and made to transfer money via Bitcoins and Google gift cards. A total of 54 people were arrested and 89 desktops along with a server have been seized.

According to police, the accused used an elaborate written script to dupe more than 4,500 persons of around Rs 90-100 crore.

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Based on information that a huge illegal call centre was being operated from Moti Nagar to target foreign nationals and illegally inducing them to transfer money through Bitcoins and gift cards, a team was formed and a raid was conducted. It was found that the premises were being used to run an illegal call centre from where accused persons were calling up people in the US and other countries impersonating various law enforcement agencies and inducing them to transfer large amount of money after threatening them with legal action.

The arrested – 45 men and 9 women – included four team leaders and ‘closers’ (persons responsible for ensuring that the victim ends up transferring money and thus, the call is ‘closed’) namely Gurmil Singh, Raunak, Jyotika and Yashpal.

“On interrogation, the accused persons disclosed that they contact foreign nationals based in the US and other countries impersonating various law enforcement agencies and other government agencies such as the Social Security Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the US Marshals Service, and tell them that their bank accounts and other assets are being frozen as their details have been found at a crime scene and there are bank accounts running in their names using which illegal transactions have been made to drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia. They also threaten the victims with immediate arrest,” DCP, Cyber Crime, Anyesh Roy said.

Once the victim becomes apprehensive, the accused used to give them two options. One is to go for a legal action in which first the victim would be arrested and their assets would be seized and only later on, could the victim fight it out in the court. The second option was to go for an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) which would be faster and simpler.

When the victim chooses to go for ADR, they ask them to share all the details of their assets, including bank accounts and the amount of money in those accounts. In the next step, the victim is told that there is only one way to safeguard their assets; they would have to either buy Bitcoins or Google Gift Cards worth all the money in their accounts. If the victim agrees to buy Bitcoins, the accused induce them to convert all the money in their accounts into Bitcoins and transfer the same to the wallets operated by the accused persons, saying that it is a safe government wallet.

If the victim agrees to buy Gift Cards, they induce them to share the number of the cards stating that it will be linked to their new bank accounts and thus, be safe.

This has been corroborated by the written script recovered from the possession of the accused persons which describes the entire modus operandi step by step in detail and acts as a guide for the accused persons.

“The script has also been seized, along with digital devices and the mobile phones of the accused, which were used in the commission of the offence. The case is under investigation and help is being obtained from the forensic labs of CyPAD-NCFL Delhi to retrieve crucial digital evidence and linkages. Efforts are being made to identify the involvement of others,” the officer added.

The initial investigation has revealed that the owner of this call centre is managing the operations from Dubai. Further investigation is underway.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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