Punjab Police Busts 2 Fake Call Centres;  Nabs 155

Punjab Police Busts 2 Fake Call Centres;  Nabs 155

Accused targeted people living in US; 79 computers, 206 laptops recovered

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Friday, May 17, 2024, 11:20 PM IST
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Chandigarh: The cyber crime division of the Punjab police on Friday claimed to have busted two fake call centres running in Mohali city, near here, and arrested their 155 employees for making fraudulent calls to people living in the US to dupe them.

Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Gaurav Yadav, said that while one such call centre was located in Sector 74, the other was in Sector 74 of Mohali; both these call centres were suspected to be run by some Gujarat-based kingpins, who were absconding.

ADGP, cyber crime, V Neeraja, said that after zeroing in on the locations, police teams raided both the call centres and arrested all the 155 employees. She said that as many as 79 desktop computer units, 204 laptops, mobile phones, and other accessories etc, were recovered from them. Stating that while 18 employees were taken on police remand, the remaining arrested persons were sent on judicial remand.

The police said that the caller from the fake call centre targeted people in the US by providing low-interest loans even if the credit score was low and charging money for it. The customers were exploited by the fraudsters by making them buy gift cards in the hope of a loan, which were immediately redeemed by the kingpin.

Another modus operandi was to pretend to be an Amazon representative, threaten the customer (US citizens) that a parcel ordered by them had illegal items and that Federal police would be informed. To cancel the order a specific amount was obtained through a cash App or via Amazon gift card within a time period. The gift card numbers were then shared with the partners in the US, who redeemed the amount and sent cash through Hawala to the kingpins in India. Brokers provide customer information data to these call centres.

Another modus operandi was that the targeted people got a pop up on the computer that the system was compromised and a contact number was given to be called immediately. Thereafter, the person got a link to download. The link installed an App which allowed screen viewing and thereafter, money from the bank accounts were fraudulently transferred.

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