Three fake call centres were busted in a joint operation by Malad and Bangur Nagar Police on Wednesday and arrested 10 people in connection to the case. The accused posed as call centre employees and duped American citizens on the pretext of selling Viagra and other medicines. All the accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Information Technology Act.
Acting on a tip off about an illegal fake call centre being operated in Malad (W), a police team raided a call centre in Lotus Business Park on SV Road on Wednesday. During the raid, police enquired with the employees and the owners, where they learnt that the accused people called American citizens through Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls and spoke in a foreign accent.
A police officer said that the accused had accessed the numbers from the dark web and offered Viagra and other medicines, without a prescription, at a throwaway rate. "When the victim fell prey to the con, the accused would ask the foreigner to pay the money through credit card, which would then be converted into Indian currency and wired to the accused in India," said Vishal Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 11). Police arrested three men from this call centre.
During the probe, they learnt about another fake call centre being operated in Bangur Nagar jurisdiction, and raided the premises in Palm Spring building. A similar set up was found there, where the accused duped the American citizens on the pretext of offering lead generation on the internet at a cheap rate and charged them money using the same modus operandi. Four people were arrested from this call centre.
Information on another fake call centre was received in the same building at Palm Springs and the premise was raided. A fake call centre set up of those duping American citizens in the name of selling Viagra was found out and three more arrests were made on Wednesday night.
In this joint operation, police had sought help from cyber crime investigators Pushkar Zantye, Nitanshu Doiphode and Naresh Ingale to crack the case. Police have seized 45 hard disks, 14 laptops, 28 mobile phones, routers and other material during the raid. While all three fake call centres were not connected, police are probing the matter to ascertain if any more people were in on the crime and investigate the matter further.