Police with the gang in Goa on Wednesday. (Sourced)
Police with the gang in Goa on Wednesday. (Sourced)

Goa Police bust gang that ran fake call centre, duped US citizens

Thirteen persons, including the alleged mastermind, were arrested and equipment such as computers, laptops and other devices seized during a raid held by the Crime Branch of the Goa Police
PUBLISHED ON SEP 08, 2021 05:25 PM IST

The Goa Police on Wednesday busted a network of scammers who operated out of a call centre and duped American citizens into parting with their money by impersonating US government officials.

Thirteen persons, including the alleged mastermind, were arrested and equipment such as computers, laptops and other devices seized during a raid held by the Crime Branch of the Goa Police.

According to the police, the gang had taken over a hotel -- Hotel Eden in Morjim a coastal village in North Goa -- and was operating a call centre from there.

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“They were defrauding American nationals by impersonating US government agents and telling them that their Social Security Numbers (SSN) were going to be blocked as they were found in a criminal investigation. The victims were then coerced to settle the matter by paying fines in the form of cash vouchers which were then converted to Bitcoin and used by the fraudsters,” Superintendent of Police (Crime) Shobit Saksena told reporters.

“The accused are mainly from Gujarat and Mumbai who had taken the premises on rent and had started operating recently,” he added.

“Further technical and forensic investigations are ongoing,” Saksena said.

The scam, known as the technical support scam, lures victims, often senior citizens. According to the New York Times, Americans have cumulatively lost upwards of USD 14 million via such scams.

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