Illegal call centre that duped US citizens of millions under garb of tech fix busted
According to the police, the company had duped at least 35,000 users of millions of dollars. The victims used to receive an email with fake pop-up error messages stating that a malware had infected their computer and if not rectified immediately, their personal and financial data would vanish.Updated: Aug 09, 2020 06:21 IST
The chief minister’s flying squad Saturday busted yet another illegal call centre operating from Sohna Road that allegedly duped people, especially those in English-speaking countries like the US, under the garb of providing technical support. Two directors of the firm were arrested.
According to the police, the company had duped at least 35,000 users of millions of dollars. The victims used to receive an email with fake pop-up error messages stating that a malware had infected their computer and if not rectified immediately, their personal and financial data would vanish. It urged the user to call on a certain phone number. A pop-up would be displayed on full-screen mode and would lock the user’s screen within a few minutes with messages like “personal information is not safe” or “you computer has been locked”, enough to scare an unsuspecting user.
“The number would be operated by employees of Green Rock Enterprise from the fifth floor of JMD Megapolis Mall on Sohna Road,” said Police commissioner KK Rao. “The operator would urge the users get their system repaired against a one-time fee and buy anti-virus software that they would say was of reputed companies through gift cards that would cost at least $250.”
The bogus anti-malware application would in reality be a bug that would give the operator access to the victims’ computers.
Police said the firm had about 150 employees, including those who worked remotely. The raiding team allegedly found 26 people, including seven women, at the firm on Saturday.
The directors were identified as Delhi resident Vikram Verma, and Gurugrma resident Rishab. Police said they had a criminal record and were earlier also involved in similar fraud.
The firm did not have any permits from the government to operate either.
Inderjeet Yadav, deputy superintendent of police (DSP) of CM Flying Squad, said that employees working at the call centres were not arrested but were not given a clean chit either. “They may be questioned. Action will be taken against them if we found their involvement in the fraud,” he said.
Yadav said they would write to the US agencies to record statements from victims.
The employees were paid between ₹15,000 and ₹25,000 per month and would work from 8 pm to 5 am, five days a week. “They were working as per the US time,” said Yadav.
A case was registered under sections 420 (cheating), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and sections 66D (cheating by personation by using computer resource) and 75 (committing offence outside India using computer network) of IT Act 2008 at Sadar police station.
Earlier, in December 2018, similar 17 FIRs were filed by Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Limited in Gurugram and Noida with regard to fake tech support from users in 12 countries, including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among others. In 2019 more than nine fake call centres were busted, said police.