Call centre scam: Mastermind took to crime after start-up suffered lossesUpdated: Dec 06, 2019 19:28 IST
Two days after the police arrested 14 people for allegedly running a fraudulent website and cheating unsuspecting job seekers by offering to spruce up their resumes with the promise of landing them interviews at IT firms, the police on Friday said that a preliminary probe into the matter has revealed that the alleged masterminds behind the scam took to crime after suffering losses in a start-up last year.
The police said the alleged mastermind, Amir Tufail and Pankaj Kumar, had started a firm in September 2018, offering technical support and help desk services to other firms.
A police official privy to the investigation, requesting anonymity, said Tufail had an educational background in IT and Kumar had some basic accounting knowledge. “From September to December, they ran a firm, which ran into losses. So, they devised a plan to create fake websites, that would charge people by perking up their resumes with false assurances that they would get jobs or their money would be refunded,” said the police official.
Karan Goyal, the assistant commissioner of police (ACP), said that though the scale of the alleged fraud is yet to be estimated, the police expect that about 300 people may have been duped in the scam.
On Tuesday, the police had conducted a raid at a call centre in Sector 49 on Sohna Road and recovered 10 laptops, 10 SIM card and ₹1.5 lakh cash. The police also froze two bank accounts, in which the suspects had allegedly parked ₹6.5 lakh in cash.
The police said the call centre executives used to cold call people after obtaining their contacts from a database and offer them services to alter their curricula vitae( CVs) for a refundable fee, ranging anywhere from ₹5,000 to ₹20,000. The executives were told to stall them when the victims would call for a refund. After several complaints mounted, the website was taken down and replaced by another fake website.
The suspects operated one fake website from February 2019 and shut it down in October. About a fortnight ago, they had created two more websites for carrying out the scam, said the police.