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Fake call centre racket busted in Mumbai’s Andheri, 2 held

A total of 39 people were working in the office and they were each paid a minimum salary of Rs25,000 per month, police said.

mumbai Updated: Sep 08, 2018 09:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Call centre scam,Call centre racket,Mumbai call centre
Employees of the call centre were trained and made calls to American citizens, pretending to be employees of an internet service provider.(HT File Photo/Representative image)

The Mumbai crime branch busted a fake call centre racket in Andheri area on Friday and arrested two suspects for allegedly duping around 1,000 American citizens. The arrested accused pretended to be employees of a reputed internet service provider while contacting American citizens and duped them by claiming their computers had been infected by virus. They then charged money to get rid of the ‘virus’, police said.

The accused have been identified as Devid Alphonso, 22, and Sandeep Yadav, 28. Police said they had been running the fake call centre out of a building in Andheri (West) for the past seven months. A total of 39 people were working in the office and they were each paid a minimum salary of Rs25,000 per month, police said. Alphonso, who is the prime accused, was heading the office while Yadav monitored the technical aspects of the racket.

The accused were arrested following a raid in their office. The raid, which was conducted following a tip-off, was carried out by a police team headed by senior inspector Mahesh Desai. The statements of employees inside the office were recorded. Computers, hard disc and several other equipment s were seized from the office, said Desai.

Employees of the call centre were trained and made calls to American citizens through VOIP (voice over internet protocol, which allows making national and international calls). They pretended to be employees of an internet service provider. “They would tell them that ‘we got to know that your personal computer is infected by virus’. The accused then charged money to ‘clean’ the virus from their computer system,” said deputy commissioner of police, Akbar Pathan.

“The accused did not take money directly. They asked them to buy gift vouchers. The victims were then asked to share the 16-digit number of the gift voucher. The accused then converted this into Indian currency. There are other people involved in the racket. We have been questioning them to find out that how they got the contact numbers of US citizens,” said Pathan.

First Published: Sep 08, 2018 09:18 IST