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Saturday, March 02 2024

Delhi: 18 held in fake call centre swindle targeting US citizens

Delhi 18 held in fake call centre swindle targeting US citizens
Photo Credit : IANS

New Delhi: With the arrest of 18 persons, the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch have busted an fake call centre allegedly involved in swindling American citizens under the guise of offering customer support, an official said. According to Special Commissioner of Police (Crime), Ravindra Singh Yadav, specific information was received about an illegal international call centre operating in the Vasant Kunj area of south-west Delhi.

The call centre targeted US citizens, deceiving them under the pretense of providing technical support on behalf of Microsoft IC. Led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Amit Goel, a raid was conducted at the call centre premises, where the accused individuals were found engaged in online cheating by impersonating tech support executives.

“The raid yielded the discovery of 12 functional laptops connected via two routers, which were used by 14 telecallers. The laptops contained applications like Micro SIP and X lite, as well as recordings of customer interactions and scripted conversations,” said the Special CP. All 14 telecallers were present during the raid, and three other persons involved in the operation were also arrested. They were identified as Armaan (25), Ranveer Singh (27) and Ravinder Singh (28), all residents of Jalandhar in Punjab. Additionally, Aman Duggal, arrested in Gurugram, was linked to the operation at the instance of Ranveer Singh.

The questioning of the accused persons revealed that the premises were rented by Maninder alias Sonu, who, along with Aman Duggal and Ranveer Singh, had a partnership in running the fake call centre. “The call center’s modus operandi involved displaying pop-ups on customers’ laptops/computer systems, showing the contact number of the fake call centre. Victims would then fall into the trap of the fraudulent operation through these pop-ups. Telecallers would falsely inform the victims that their laptops/systems had been hacked, prompting them to seek technical support via the toll-free number provided in the pop-ups.

The telecallers followed a pre-written script on their laptops during conversations with the victims,” the Special CP added. The fraudsters would also threaten the victims by claiming that child pornography content had been downloaded onto their systems which is a a serious offence. “To purportedly save the customers and resolve the fabricated issue, the scammers demanded money.

The victims would comply by withdrawing money from their respective banks and purchasing gift cards, which they deposited through Bitcoin,” said the official. After receiving the demanded money, the victims transferred the amount to the vendors through bitcoin, using QR codes provided by the accused. “The profits were then distributed among Sonu, Aman Duggal, and Ranveer, who, in turn, provided a commission of two to four per cent to their supervisors, Ravinder and Armaan.

It was also discovered that the call centre owner provided accommodation on the same premises to all telecallers and supervisors,” the official added.

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