Ahmedabad police on Wednesday raided a call centre operating near Judges Bungalow opposite Mocha Cafe in the city. In all, seven people have been arrested for posing as representatives of the legal department in the US and threatening US citizens with action for drugs recovered from their car or for holding multiple bank accounts that were not declared to the authorities.
The call centre thus threatened the citizens and extorted anywhere between $2000 to $50,000 to settle the matter.
Vastrapur police said the raid was carried out in the early morning. The call centre was being run from an office in the Krishna complex. Police said the accused had accessed American citizens’ data and using VC dialer software send bulk messages that would warn them of fraud that has happened from the victim’s social security number. The message would also have a contact number where the citizens can call.
How the call centre duped?
Once the citizens called they would fool them into believing that drugs were found in their car or that the government had traced their illegal bank accounts and that legal action would be taken against them.
They would then agree to a settlement for anywhere between $2000 to $50,000. The money was extorted in the form of bitcoin, prepaid vouchers, and through courier.
But what is interesting is that it is not yet known how the foreign currency was converted into Indian rupees.
Police have claimed that the call centre had been operational only for a fortnight but sources in the know said it was being run for over 2.5 years by one Saurin Rathod, a resident of Jodhpur. He had earlier operated similar call centres in Delhi too.
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