11 held for running fake call centre, duping over loan settlements

The Shivaji Park police arrested 11 persons including six women for allegedly running a fake call centre and duping people on the pretext of loan settlement. The accused posing as bank officials lured the bank customers into a trap and duped them by making them pay in the name of settlements.

Last October, Sunil Mhatre, a businessman from Dadar was allegedly cheated by the group to the tune of Rs 40,000. According to the police, Mhatre had taken a personal loan of total Rs 7.5 lakh from two banks. He paid the instalments regularly. In April 2020, his business got hit due to pandemic. He applied for a moratorium. The bank accepted his request, said police.

In November, he received calls from the accused, who posed as bank officials and claimed to settle his remaining loan of Rs 1.74 lakh. They asked him to pay Rs 40,000 as a settlement amount. Mhatre paid the amount and the fraudsters even gave him a settlement letter.

In December, the bank officials visited Mhatre to enquire about the pending dues. Mhatre showed him the settlement letter. However, the bank officials checked his loan status and nothing was deposited in his account.

While going through the accused persons’ mobile number and their bank account details, they realised that Ketan Mishra (19) one of the accused is a Ghatkopar resident. The police picked him up. He led the cops to the call centre which was located in Ghatkopar west.

The police raided the call centre and arrested the remaining 10 accused, including the mastermind Somnath Das (20). According to the police, Das had previously worked for a call centre. “We have seized 130 SIM cards along with six computers and four laptops. It seems that the accused possessed customer data which included their loan details. We are investigating how they acquired the data,” said Pandhari Kande, assistant police inspector.

Since March last year the call centre was operational and police suspect that they have cheated many people similarly, said police.

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