Fake call centre busted in Ludhiana, 27 people held

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Ludhiana, Jul 1 (PTI) Police on Thursday said they have busted a fake call centre which used to dupe UK-based residents by impersonating government officials of that country.

With 27 people held in the case, Commissioner of Police Ludhiana Rakesh Agrawal said the accused had also been threatening the victims to impose some penalty on them.

Agrawal said investigation into their modus operandi revealed that employees at the call centre used to approach UK citizens through an internet based calling application and at times posed as 'Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, United Kingdom (HMRC) officials'. The CP said these fraud callers used to induce fear in victims by telling them that their identity has been used to carry out tax or insurance frauds in their country and a criminal case would be filed against them.

When the victims asked them for a remedy, they were told to transfer some amount to a UK-based account by providing the account number of their gang members based in the UK, said police.

He said that the accused had purchased the data of customers through the internet and other sources on payment basis.

The accused also provided a script to the callers to trap the innocent citizens. The script has all the possible questions which can be asked by the citizens and their answers, said police. Another team of this network used to target US nationals by posing as Amazon employees, the CP added.

He said half of the transferred amount was being kept by the UK and US based facilitators, while the remaining was received by the accused through hawala transactions.

Agrawal said they have also found incriminating evidence of foreign payment gateways, fraud bank accounts and data of lakhs of UK-based income taxpayers.

He said further investigations are on to ascertain the total amount of the fraud done by the accused. He also does not rule out involvement of more individuals in this scam.

The centre was being operated here from Chandan Towers at Pakhowal Road here.

Among those who have been held in this case include four African nationals, said police.

Police also recovered Rs 14.5 lakh, 22 desktop computers, nine laptops and 31 mobile phones along with a huge amount of accessories including LAN servers, Wi-fi routers and Wi-fi switches. A case under relevant sections of the IPC has been registered, said police. PTI COR CHS VSD MA MA MA

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