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Two more arrested in fake call centre scam in Mumbai

The duo arrested on Tuesday have been identified as Kalapi Bhagat, 42, and Sagar Patel, 28.

mumbai Updated: Nov 29, 2017 12:01 IST
Jayprakash S Naidu
Jayprakash S Naidu
Hindustan Times
FAKE CALL CENTRE,MALAD CALL CENTRE,CALL CENTRE SCAM
The call centre staff allegedly posed as officials from the United States’ treasury department and duped around 300 US citizens.(HT File / For representational purpose only)

The Mumbai police crime branch on Tuesday arrested two more men for their alleged involvement in the fake call centre racket, busted earlier this month in Malad. Fourteen people have already been arrested in the case.

The call centre staff allegedly posed as officials from the United States’ treasury department and duped around 300 US citizens. The scam was similar to the Rs1,900-crore racket busted in Mira Road last year, where callers posed as Internal Revenue Service officials and conned American citizens.

Some of the accused in the Mira Road case have been linked to the Malad call centre scam as well.

The duo arrested on Tuesday have been identified as Kalapi Bhagat, 42, and Sagar Patel, 28.

Acting on a tip-off on November 2, the crime branch had raided two locations in Malad – B2B Centre and Aditya Industrial Estate – where the accused had rented premises. The racket had been operational for four to five months when it was busted, police officials said.

Call centre staffers would send messages to US citizens posing as treasury department officials, and ask them to pay “tax dues”. “They would send at least 1,000 messages a day. Even if 50 people called back, the staff would dupe them,” said a senior crime branch officer, who did not want to be named.

People who responded would be asked to buy a gift card through an online portal and share the gift card number. Once the executive procured the card number, it would be shared with Abhishek Dubey, 29, who was arrested earlier. Bhagat and Patel would help Dubey encash the card, and get 60 per cent of the amount.

The earlier arrests include mostly youngsters in their 20s, all residents of Mumbai who have worked at various call centres in the city over the years.

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 12:00 IST