Noida: 31 arrested for running ‘call centre’ that duped US citizenshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/noida-31-arrested-for-running-call-centre-that-duped-us-citizens-5420351/

Noida: 31 arrested for running ‘call centre’ that duped US citizens

A team of officials from the Crime Branch, the cyber cell and local police had Thursday busted the fake call centre operating in city's Sector-63 area.

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As many as 34 computer systems and other electronic gadgets besides 21 debit/credit cards were seized during the raid (Representational Image)

Thirty-one people, including two main accused, were arrested for running a fake call centre here that duped US citizens by assuring tax benefits, police said Friday.

A team of officials from the Crime Branch, the cyber cell and local police had Thursday busted the fake call centre operating in city’s Sector-63 area.

The “co-directors” of the fake call centre, identified as Rajendra Khalsa and Abhishek Bharadwaj, both Class 12 pass and natives of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, have been held, Superintendent of Police (Crime) Ashok Kumar Singh said.

“Twenty-nine other men including 28 from the Northeast and one from Maharashtra, who were working in the call centre were arrested,” he told reporters.

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He said as many as 34 computer systems and other electronic gadgets besides 21 debit/credit cards were seized during the raid.

The main accused, Khalsa and Bharadwaj, are in their late 20s, while others are all adults and under 35 years of age, police said.

Of the 29 workers, most of them hail from Nagaland, while two are from Manipur and one each from Maharashtra’s Palghar and Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad, they said.

“One of the key accused told the police during interrogation that they had hired workers from the Northeast because of their English dialect which they found better to befool the targets,” they said.

The accused persons had gathered the data containing information about the US citizens and then call them up posing as representatives of the Internal Revenue Agency (IRA) of the United States federal government and dupe them in the name of tax reforms and benefits, police said.

The accused would tell their targets things like they are under ‘burden of services and loans’ and should pay some amount if they wanted relief under IRS provisions, they said.

“If the targets would not relent or fall in their trap, the accused would even threaten them of ‘legal action’ by the US government for tax violations,” police said.

Those gullible and unsuspecting were asked to deposit money in the centre’s bank account by the callers, according to the investigators.

Police, however, did not specify the amount of money involved in the fraud or the number of victims but said the “call centre would make transactions of around Rs 1 lakh everyday”.

An FIR was registered at Phase 3 police station and the accused booked under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (fraud) and related offences besides the Information Technology (IT) Act.

Noida Police had received complaints about such frauds on email from the US after which a raid was conducted by the joint team on the call centre which was active in the city for around three months now.

The action comes within days of another fake centre duping Canadians and other foreigners being busted by the local police.

On October 18, police had arrested the mastermind of the fake call centre operating from Sector-63 of the city.

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The accused in that case would pose as representatives of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which administers tax laws in the country, to dupe people in the name of tax benefits, police said.