US authorities have named an Indian printer in a multi-country mailing scam that targeted the elderly and vulnerable by offering them millions of dollars in cash prize or reward in return for a small processing fee.
The scheme, similar to the advance fee scam run out of Nigeria for years, was operated by people based all over the world, and individuals and companies targeted by investigators came from Canada, Turkey, the Netherlands, the US and India.
According to the complaint filed in a US court on Friday, “fraudulent direct mailers create letters falsely claiming that the recipient has won, or will soon win, cash or valuable prizes, or otherwise will come into good fortune.”
But in order to receive the sum, the recipient is required to send across a small amount of money as taxes or processing fee.
“The letters appear to come from legitimate sources, typically on official-looking letterhead, and even though they are in reality identical form letters - the letters appear to be personally addressed. Some solicitations even use fonts that appear to be handwritten.”
These letters were allegedly printed by Mail Order Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. (MOSI), a company based in India with principals, Dharti Desai, 49, of New York County and Mumbai, India, and Mehul Desai, also of Mumbai.
The complaint alleged MOSI was involved in this business since at least 2005 and “shipped at least 24.5 million solicitation packets to the United States”.