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How the FBI and Indian Law Enforcement Agencies Are Fighting the War With Digital Fraudsters

FBI & India police join forces, making 26 arrests in a major crackdown on cyber-enabled financial crimes and call center frauds.



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In a landmark collaborative effort, the FBI and Indian law enforcement have struck a significant blow against cyber-enabled financial crimes and call centre frauds, arresting 26 individuals in a series of 13 joint operations throughout 2023, according to a recent report by the US government.

This initiative marks a deepening of ties between the two countries in their fight against the burgeoning threat of cybercrime, building on efforts that began in earnest in 2022.

The partnership has seen the FBI’s legal attaché in New Delhi, its Washington field office, and the Department of Justice (DoJ) working closely with Indian counterparts, including the Central Bureau of Investigation and local state authorities. Their collective efforts have led to multiple call centre raids, disruptions, and the dismantling of networks accused of perpetrating these frauds.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Report for 2023 highlights the successes of these operations, emphasizing the critical support provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) through extensive interviews and ongoing assistance to Indian law enforcement in prosecuting the frauds.

A focus of these crimes, as detailed in the US Department of the Treasury’s National Money Laundering Risk Assessment report, involves government impersonation scams. Fraudsters, often operating from call centres in South Asia, primarily India, masquerade as law enforcement or other government officials. Using sophisticated techniques to appear legitimate, including phone number spoofing and fake credentials, they target Americans with various schemes to extort money.

These scams are notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute, particularly because they are often international in nature, posing significant challenges to law enforcement officials in India.

The complexity of these cases, compounded by the perpetrators frequently operating from foreign soil, has made the collaboration between the FBI and Indian agencies all the more crucial.

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The urgency of combating these threats is underscored by recent comments from RBI Deputy Governor Rabi Sankar on the need for preparedness against new cyber security risks. Incidents like Alkem Labs’ report of a ‘fraudulent transfer’ of Rs 52 crore due to a cyber-security breach highlight the financial stakes involved.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for global cooperation to tackle the issue of cybercrimes, reflecting the international scope of the challenge. Within India, specific regions have become notorious for such criminal activities, with gangs employing various methods to defraud victims, including exploiting banking malware and impersonating officials to obtain sensitive personal information.

The government’s response has included measures such as blocking 1.4 lakh mobile numbers linked to financial frauds, and since April 2021, over Rs 10,300 crore have been illicitly obtained by cybercriminals, with authorities managing to block approximately Rs 1,127 crore of those funds.

The collaboration between the US and India in addressing these crimes not only highlights the global nature of the threat but also the importance of international cooperation in safeguarding citizens against the evolving dangers of the digital age.



  • Joint operations by FBI & Indian law enforcement in 2023.
  • 26 arrests made for cyber-enabled financial crimes & call center frauds.
  • Collaboration includes FBI’s legal attaché in New Delhi & Washington field office.
  • Operations led to multiple call center raids, disruptions, seizures, and arrests.
  • Efforts combat government impersonation scams, often originating from India.
  • Challenges include investigation of international crimes.


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