Mumbai: Fake call centre, which demanded nude photos of US customers, busted

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The loans would be in the name of student loans, weekend loans or even mid-term loans for small amounts of money. Once these fake tele-callers provided the victims with their personal details about debts and liability, they were convinced that these were genuine callers from the banks and fell prey to the fraud.

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A call center which had been duping thousands of US citizens in name of easy loans has been busted by the Thane crime branch in Ambernath near Mumbai during the intervening night of June 8 and 9. The raid started in the Anand Nagar MIDC area of Ambernath where a BPO named Rackon enterprises operated from an industrial building.

The raid and search is still on after teams left for three different locations in and around Mumbai to apprehend the people involved. More than 25 callers including some women have been apprehended who offered loans at easy installments but on provisions that they would provide a commission.

The commission would be anything which could range between 20 to 30 per cent of the loan amount. These loans were of amounts ranging from USD 1,000 to 5,000 but sometimes the commission would go up to USD 10,000 as the customers were being lured in name of easy loans.

Sometimes the callers would also be asked to pose naked or send nude pictures and videos for providing the loans which were never sanctioned as the complete process was fraudulent. The call center had their associates in the US who helped them with the complete data for possible loan applicants and the callers from BPO posed as employees of some local banks.

The loans would be in the name of student loans, weekend loans or even mid-term loans for small amounts of money. Once these fake tele-callers provided the victims with their personal details about debts and liability, they were convinced that these were genuine callers from the banks and fell prey to the fraud.

This is the second biggest BPO fraud busted by the Thane police wherein US citizens were being targeted by illegal BPOs. The initial bust led to the arrest of more than 80 people. It is said that some of the employees working with the Ambernath based BPOs had earlier worked with the BPOs involved in the IRS fraud duping US citizen.

Thane crime branch officials have seized hard disks, computers, pen drives and servers from Rackon enterprises which was earlier named as Shakti Ramesh enterprises.

Acting on specific information, a trap was laid and the raid was conducted at the said premises by a team of Thane crime branch officials. The raid started at around 11:30 pm on Thursday and went on till wee hours on Friday.

The police team was also assisted by computer and digital forensic experts who scanned the data logs. The VOIP calling system used by the BPO itself was illegal in the first place and this was used to make calls to the US citizens and dupe them of thousands of dollars.

The process was called payday and the callers got incentives for each successful call which could be around ten per cent of the total amount secured or grabbed from the victim. Some of the callers who were not even HSC pass made around Rs 1.5 lakh a month at this BPO set up which was running since more than four years at this location.

The accused will be booked under appropriate sections depending pong their interrogation which is underway and then produced in court.

The person who owns the place where the BPO was functioning is affiliated to a political party and his role is being ascertained in the scam. Thane police have called for technical experts to examine the hard disks and systems found in the call center to ascertain the amount of money that was being made by the staffers and the owners of the call center. A senior Thane crime branch official said that the people apprehended could be just tip of an iceberg.

 

 

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