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FBI, Interpol, Canada Police come together to check illegal call centres in Noida

The meeting, between officers of the FBI, RCMP and the Interpol division of the FBI, focused on the rising number of complaints against call centres active in Noida and Greater Noida that duped foreign citizens on the pretext of providing them loans and online products.

noida Updated: Oct 18, 2018 14:11 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times, Noida
noida,fake call centres in noida,FBI
The meeting of officers of FBI, Canada Police and Interpol was held at the office of senior superintendent police, Gautam Budh Nagar, Wednesday, October 18, 2018. (Sourced)

Officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Interpol division of the FBI held a meeting with Gautam Budh Nagar senior superintendent of police (SSP) on the growing number of illegal call centres operating out of Noida that were increasingly cheating foreign nationals.

The meeting, which was held at senior superintendent of police (SSP) Ajay Sharma’s office on Wednesday, focused on the rising number of complaints against call centres active in the district that duped foreign citizens, especially Canadians and Americans, on the pretext of providing them loans, shares and/or online products.

“In the past six months, we have raided five illegal call centres and we are currently working on one more such case. In all the cases, police had taken suo-motu cognisance and conducted raids after getting specific tipoffs. However, we had no contact with the victims as these call centres mostly targeted foreign nationals. In Wednesday’s meeting with the FBI, Interpol and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, it was decided that the agencies will track the victims abroad and get their statements to help Noida Police make their case stronger. Moreover, they will also alert us regarding any suspicious activity that involves call centres based in Noida or Greater Noida,” Sharma said.

In the past, police have taken action after receiving repeated complaints of fake call centres operating from areas like Sector 49, 58, 62 and 63. In March, 2018, a Noida Special Task Force (STF) had arrested 135 persons across Delhi-NCR for allegedly duping people to the tune of Rs 200 crore by pretending to be representatives of insurance schemes and online shopping portals. In April, 2018, a total of 23 persons had been arrested for running a fake call centre in Sector 59. The accused in that case allegedly duped foreigners, mostly Americans, by offering them cheap ‘pay day’ loans.

Explaining the modus operandi of dubious call centres, Sharma said, “Six months ago, we raided a call centre in Sector 49 which used to dupe people with fake offers of loans. Their call operator used to ask people to deposit $1,000 to get a certain loan passed in their names. A few people fell for the scam and deposited money through wire transfers.”

Another ploy used by these call centres is to offer people merchandise on behalf of online portals at a cheaper rate and then asking them to make the full payment upfront after which the products would be home delivered.

SSP Sharma said there was a need to create an institutional mechanism to check illegal call centres.

“We are currently speaking to our legal advisors and we plan to create an institutional mechanism to stop illegal call centres in the city. Any call centre owner who wishes to operate in the district will be verified by the police first,” Sharma said.

First Published: Oct 18, 2018 13:49 IST