Fake call centre racket busted in Andheri, 19 who duped over 5,000 US nationals of Rs 8 crore held
Police said the raids were conducted on Tuesday in Marol, from where the call centre was being operated under the guise of Alreef Traiding Private Limited.
The MIDC police arrested 19 people, including three women, and busted a fake call centre racket that was running in the area for the past eight months. Police said the employees would dupe US nationals under the pretext of providing them personal loans, and suspect they have duped over 5,000 people so far of Rs 8 crore.
Police said the raids were conducted on Tuesday in Marol, from where the call centre was being operated under the guise of Alreef Traiding Private Limited. The call center was functioning on Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a safe and encrypted network. Police said the telephonic operators used to convince the customers that they are calling them from a US-based company .
"They targeted people in need of money and accessed their credit score. They then posed as loan agents and offered them personal loans despite their low credit scores," Ankit Goyal, DCP, Zone 10 said.
The arrested accused identified have been identified as Parvez Shaikh (floor manager) Abdul Yusuf, Chittes Goriya, Manoj Chaudhry, Mujahid Peerjada, Amir Shaikh, Etshyan Sayyed, Prajwal Salian, Hamja Shaikh, Mohammad Shaikh, Umar Samsing, Tanvir Shaikh, Salahuddin Shaikh, Ali Shaikh, Johnsan Fugu, Naresh Kumbhar, Sneha Chaudhry, Trupti Jaiswal, and Gulnaz Bag.
However, police said the mastermind Arish Lokhandwala, who lives in Lokhandwala and has several properties in his name, is still absconding.
The raids were conducted by 15 officers late on Tuesday night including senior PI Anil Koli, PI Santosh Jadhav, API Devidas Mupde, PSI Ganesh Mohite. During the raid, police siezed 20 laptops, 32 mobile phones, VPN system and other electronic equipments.
"There is more than 5TB data which has been recovered and under scrutiny to understand how many people they have so far cheated. They would make over 1,600 calls everyday and had a target of Rs 70 lakh rupees per month. So far 5,000 people have been cheated and the priliminary amount is suspected to be over Rs 8 crore," Goyal said.
"We suspect that several call centres are functioning across the country, especially in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. They may have links with this gang," a police officer, requesting anonymity, said.
The Modus Operandi
1- The employees would call people with low credit scores. The data would be from their counterparts involved in the conspiracy, who are suspected to be in USA or China. The VPN system used for calling customers would display a local US number.
2- They would then ask the customer to fill their details, loan requirements and banking details on a website. Once these details were uploaded, they would request them for a VOID cheque on their email id.
3- After getting the bank details, and VOID cheque, they would sanction letters of well-known American companies.
4- They then forged the VOID cheque with the help of a software. The fraudsters would use these cheques to put any amount deposit the same in another customer's account who had also applied for loans and given his bank details
5- Once the amount is credited to the account, they would call the customer and tell them that they deposited some amount in their account, which is the part of the process to verify accounts. They would then ask the customer to send the same amount to by converting it as gift card.
Goyal said, "The amount which is credited through gift cards is untraceable. To avoid the entire money trial they had been asking the customers to send gift cards, which they would access in India by taking the pin numbers available on it and convert it into Indian currency."
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