An officer from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US, met Thane police commissioner police Parambir Singh and other officers on Friday in connection with the fake call centre racket that was busted at Mira Road in Thane district earlier this month. A total of 772 employees from three bogus call centres were initially taken into custody for duping US nationals by posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers.
Singh said, “All the details related to the fake call centre racket were shared with the FBI officer. In addition, we asked him to share details from his end so that it helps us during investigation. I’ve also contacted a few people in the US, who I know had received multiple calls from the bogus IRS officers. While the FBI has praised us for unearthing the racket, officers from Home Land Security and IRS are on their way to Thane. We are currently probing the money trail to find out how it was transferred and which all countries it came from. We have also learnt that the US authorities have taken two Indians into their custody.”
Another officer from Thane commissionerate said unearthing three fake call centres is just the tip of the iceberg. “This scam has tarnished India’s reputation internationally. Probe is also being conducted in Delhi for possible links. The day these call centres were raided, we had received more than 25 complaints from the US and other countries”.
Sources from the Thane police department told HT that the officials immediately contacted their counterparts in the FBI and informed them about the case. Investigation so far has revealed that more than 6,500 US nationals were duped by the scammers. Probe also revealed that the US-based agents, who provided details loan defaulter, earned 30% commission per victim, while their counterparts in Mira Road got a plump 70%.
They added that the call centre employees were trained to converse in American accent so that they could pose as IRS officers and bully loan defaulters in US into making payments. The victims were asked to submit bank details, using which the callers in Mira Road hacked into their accounts and cleared the savings. The accused used special software to mask the original number they were calling from. Police said the software ensured that the receivers saw a US number on their phones.