Fake call centre busted, used to dupe US citizens by impersonating e-commerce platform

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Published on Dec 09, 2020 11:20 PM IST
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By, Gurugram

Police on Wednesday busted a fake call centre, which had been operating out of a basement of a residential property in Sector 45 since January. The employees had been allegedly duping US citizens by posing as security support service executives of an e-commerce giant and charged money through e-gift cards, said police.

According to the police, the call centre was duping people of hundreds of dollars. The police said that at least 2,000 US citizens are suspected to have been targeted by the call centre. The executives used to tell their victims that their membership to the website has been cancelled or that the payments made by them are not reflecting in their accounts, or claimed product delivery updates.

The suspects were identified as Praveen Kumar (32), of Bawal in Rewari and Manish Kumar (32), of Buxar in Bihar. The call centre was operated from the basement of their shared residence, the police said.

Karan Goel, assistant commissioner of police (DLF), said that the suspects had registered as a company — Squad Company — but had no legal permission to operate a call centre. “We received information that an illegal call centre was operational from a residential area in Sector 45. We formed teams, including cyber crime officials, and raided the house. Telecallers were found making calls and two of the owners were present there. We released the telecallers after questioning them,” he said.

Goel said they have recovered 13 computers and two mobile phones from their possession. The police said the confiscated hardware will be sent to a laboratory in Madhuban in Karnal for forensic examination.

KK Rao, the commissioner of police, said that they have started cracking down on illegal call centres operating across the city. “We received specific inputs that a fake call centre had cheated several US nationals on the pretext of being security support service provider in Sector 45 area. The people employed at the call centre operated without a registered licence issued by the department of telecommunications (DoT),” he said.

A case was registered on Wednesday at the Cyber police station under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and sections 66D and 75 of the IT Act, after which two of the owners of the call centre were arrested from the spot.

The police said the exact number of victims and the total amount of money siphoned may be higher than their estimates. “We are also getting a forensic audit of the seized property to know the exact details of the victims who have been duped. The illegal call centres are using same modus operandi to dupe people and, have already arrested 66 people this year and busted nearly 44 call centres,” Rao said, adding that the suspects had duped around 2,000 victims.

The suspects used to provide pick and drop facilities to all the employees and were paying Rs 25,000 monthly salary, and nearly Rs 30,000 in incentives.

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