Nine days after two men were arrested for allegedly running a fake call centre in Andheri, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Saturday arrested the third accused for his alleged involvement in the scam.
Police said Bipin Shahu (35), a resident of Mira Road, also ran a fake call centre called “Innovation 360” on the same premises. He has allegedly cheated US nationals to the tune of Rs 2 crore, the police added.
The Crime Branch on September 7 arrested David Alfonso (22), alleged to be the brain behind the racket, and his technical help Sandeep Yadav. They are on the lookout for Alfonso’s girlfriend Aarti Saxena, along with a manager and a vendor, who are on the run.
“Shahu’s role was identified after Alfonso and Yadav were arrested. We were informed that he was also running a call centre on the same premises,” an officer said.
The police were tipped off about his location in Delhi following which a team was sent and he was nabbed on Saturday night. Shahu was produced before a holiday court on Sunday and has been remanded in police custody till September 19, police added.
They were running what is called a tech support scam where they would call up people or send them pop-ups online, alerting them that their computers have been infected by a virus or malware. They would then ask the US nationals to give them remote access to their computers and pretend to remove the malware or virus, investigators said.
“These callers would get in touch with the US citizens through Voice over Internet Protocol calls and emails,” said an officer.
Those who fell for the scam were asked to buy gift cards online and share the 16-digit number. Shahu would help Alfonso convert the dollars into rupees with the help of the numbers, the officer said.
“Shahu had some eight people operating from a mall in Andheri. We will be recording their statements that would be crucial in the case,” a senior officer said.
Alfonso, a Class 10 pass out had been working with a call centre ever since. “After seeking experience, he started his own unit. We need to check how these two got in touch with each other. These arrests will help us nab others involved,” said an investigator.
The police said that the call centres have been operating since the past seven months. On a daily basis, they made 150-200 calls and would make Rs 15-20 lakh per month, they added.