Three Indian Call Centers Made over $75 Million from Scamming US Citizens

Indian police have shut down three call centers operating from the Thane district of Mumbai, arrested 70 suspects, and issued show cause notices for another 630 suspects.

Authorities say the call centers are behind a series of financial scams that targeted US citizens and pocketed the crooks over $75 million.

Call center employees would call US citizens posing as US tax agents for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The callers would employ a heavy US accent, use VoIP technology to mask their location, and tell targets they defaulted on their taxes. Callers would threaten victims with official charges, arrest, or heavy fines.

Scammers initially demanded large sums of money from the victims, but would later settle for smaller fees.

Police said one in 20 victims ended up paying, with all three call centers making between $150,000 and $225,000 per day.

US authorities have contacted Indian officials to request more information about the gang, which apparently had US-based members. The US-based members allegedly took a 30 percent cut of all the proceedings.

Times of India, which broke the story last week, says police failed to arrest the call centers’ owners. The publication says police received a tip from a disgruntled former call center employee.

Investigators believe the three call centers they raided are part of a larger network. The operation was self-contained, with new employees being trained in-house.

The investigation is still ongoing, and authorities believe they’ll make further arrests as they examine the confiscated evidence.

Officials said they seized 852 hard disks, high-end servers, DVRs, laptops and equipment. The value of the confiscated equipment is above $150,000.

The raid took place on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Police suspect that British and Australian citizens may have been targeted as well.

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