Indore: Interstate gang involved in duping Americans busted, 22 arrested

Indore: Local police on Tuesday busted an interstate gang and arrested 22 people including kingpin for to the tune of crores of rupees by posing as officials of the US social department. Most accused are engineering graduates from Ahmadabad. Their associates run similar rackets in other cities, police said.

The accused who ran a call centre from city would speak to the US citizens in American English. While posing as the US social department officials, they would call Americans to say that their social security is number is being misused by other people. Accused would take money to protect, retrieve and issue new social security numbers to Americans.

This way, accused charged UD$ 500 to US$ 4000 from Americans for their service and collected Rs 1.50 crore since May this year. Police have recovered social security number of about three lakh Americans from their computer system.

The accused possessed credit recharge vouchers of major US companies like Walmart. They would ask the US citizens to transfer their money in recharge vouchers by providing them voucher numbers.  The US dollars thus received were converted in Bitcoin. “The accused would then receive this money through hawala operators in Gujarat,” DIG Harinarayanachari Mishra said.

According to DIG, police had received complaint that a call centre run in Lasudiya offers lucrative jobs to needy youths.  After recruitment, they were trained to speak in American English by Daisy Shah of Mumbai. After training, they were told to make phone calls in the US.

After receiving information, police team raided a building called Vardhman Palace in Lasudiya and arrested 22 people including kignpin Vatsal Mehta, a resident of Ahmadabad, and floor manager Karan Bhatt. Accused Mehta told police that call centre employees made phone calls at night.

The employees were recruited through a placement company called IMS located in the city. “The role of the placement company is also being investigated,” Additional Superintendent of Police Shailendra Singh Chouhan said. According to police, social security number includes information about bank accounts, medical facilities, government facilities etc. To protect or recover social number, the US residents pay money to social department.

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