Gujarat: Surat Police Busts Fake Call Centre Luring Job Seekers with Fraudulent Contracts

Gujarat: Surat Police Busts Fake Call Centre Luring Job Seekers with Fraudulent Contracts

The scam lured victims with promises of lucrative work-from-home data entry jobs, only to entrap them in a web of legal threats and forced online money transfers.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Thursday, January 18, 2024, 07:06 PM IST
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FPJ

Surat: The Surat police have busted an illegal call centre operating from Rajhans complex on Ring Road, exposing a well-oiled racket that preyed on unsuspecting job seekers. The scam lured victims with promises of lucrative work-from-home data entry jobs, only to entrap them in a web of legal threats and forced online money transfers.

Seven individuals have been arrested for running the fraudulent operation, identified as Aman Akbar Gori, Salman Firoz Pathan, Vinod Nanabhai Chauhan, Tahir Moiuddin Gori, Aamir Haroon Hunani, Junaid Hussian Pathan, and Jebunnisa Azhar Sheikh.

The modus operandi

Using online platforms like Quicker Marketplace and Google searches, the accused targeted individuals seeking work. They offered seemingly attractive data entry jobs through a company called Aero Tech Solutions, complete with a web portal for information and "work." The catch? Completing only 80-85 per cent of the work triggered punitive charges of ₹5,460, along with penalties, based on a fraudulent contract signed by the victims.

Victim narrates ordeal

Ashraf Pahlwan, one of the victims, narrated his ordeal to the police. Initially lured by the prospect of good income, he signed the contract. However, two months later, he received a threatening call from someone named Waki. Invoking the contract and accusing Pahlwan of breaching its terms, Waki demanded money transfers through online transactions, instilling fear of legal repercussions. Pahlwan's story is not alone; several unsuspecting individuals faced similar harassment and extortion.

Acting on crucial evidence, the Surat police raided the call center. Seven computers, 15 mobile phones, and other electronic equipment worth ₹4 lakh were seized from the accused. Investigations revealed a systematic operation: luring victims, trapping them with contracts, creating fabricated work pressure, and extorting money under the guise of legal consequences.

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