Illegal call center busted in DLF Phase 2, two heldUpdated: Aug 12, 2020 00:03 IST
Days after an illegal call center was busted in Gurugram’s Sohna Road, the city police on Monday night busted on operating from a residence in DLF Phase 2 that allegedly duped people, especially those in English-speaking countries like the US, under the garb of providing technical support. Two of the owners were arrested from the spot, said police.
According to the police, they had received a tip regarding the call centre operating from a house in Block N. A patrolling party of four policemen took a round of the area.
Karan Goel, assistant commissioner of police (DLF), said, “We took experts with us and raided the house. At least 12 young people were found making calls and trying to convince people to buy their technical support products.”
The team told the employees to continue taking inbound calls and videographed more than 50 calls to establish the fraud, said police.
Goel said they questioned all the 12 employees who allegedly revealed that they had duped hundreds of US citizens in the last six months. “They used to send an email to their IDs with fake pop-up error messages stating that a malware had infected their computer systems and if not rectified immediately, their personal and financial data would be compromised. Their modus operandi was similar to the one busted by the chief minister’s flying squad . The pop-up messages would be displayed on full screen mode and would lock the user’s browser,” said Goel. The firm did not have any permits to operate from a residence.
Police said the pop-ups would repeatedly show up on a user’s computer screen with warnings such as ‘malicious malware detected’, ‘personal information is not safe’, ‘your computer has been locked’. “The victims would panic and contact at the helpline number that comes with the pop-up message to resolve the issue. Instead, they would end up being duped by them on the pretext of getting technical support,” he said.
The commissioner of police, KK Rao, said the calls were answered by people who claimed to be technical experts of ‘Best Buy’ chain of stores. “The employees revealed that they would ask the victims to install a bogus paid application for a fee ranging between $100 to $3000. They took the fee in form of gift cards from iTunes or Amazon only. They never shared any bank account for any online transactions,” he said.
The gift cards were routed to bank accounts in India through European countries.
The bogus application, meanwhile, would also serve as a bug and allow the company to access the victims’ computers. This had the potential for data theft and identity theft.
The data police recovered from the company had details of nearly 100,000 users, including their email IDs, credit and debit card numbers, and their CVV numbers.
“We are verifying all the details and have assigned the task to the cyber crime unit to start sending emails to the victims, starting Wednesday,” Rao said.
A case was registered under section 420 (cheating), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and section 66D (cheating by personation by using computer resource) and 75 (committing offence outside India using computer network) of IT Act 2008 at Cyber police station.
Police recovered three servers, ₹1.45 lakh in cash, and the script the employees were to follow while speaking to their victims.
The suspects were identified as Amit Dhanda of Jind and Saurabh Chaudhary of Hoogly in West Bengal. Both of them have worked together in a private company which provided IT solutions before starting the firm. “They had started their operations in March but due to lockdown they could not operate from a residential site and reopened last month,” said Goel.
Police said that despite so many arrest and crackdown on fake call centre, people are still operating by illegal means.
“The employees working for these illegal establishments are also equally responsible and we will start taking strict action against them,” said Rao.
The chief minister’s flying squad on Saturday had busted the illegal call centre that allegedly had over 35,000 victims and raked in millions under the garb of providing technical service.