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This Fake Call Centre In Kanpur Made Rs 9 Cr By Cheating US Citizens, 4 Arrested

KANPUR: The illegal business of call centres duping foreign nationals is mushrooming in the country. Starting a crackdown against them, crime branch of Kanpur police on Wednesday arrested four people for allegedly duping foreigners through fake call centres they were operating out of a building in Kakadev areas in Kanpur.

According to the police the gang had two call centres – Noida and Kanpur and were defrauding foreign nationals under the guise of being from the technical support, antivirus support and even the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to a senior official at the time of the raid, there was an ongoing call at one of the centres in which the unsuspecting victim was being threatened and extorted by the accused persons by impersonating as an executive of an anti-virus company. 

MODUS-OPERANDI

During the investigation, police found that Noida resident Mohinder Sharma had opened an international call centre in Kakadev for the last years. The victims of the scam are people residing in English speaking countries. He had created multiple teams at his centre and each team was handling a designated ‘process’. These processes included

Antivirus Technical Support Scam: The accused send pop-ups to the computers of such unsuspecting people that their system has been compromised and they should call the given number for technical assistance by anti-virus company. When the victim calls, the accused pretend to be from anti-virus company’s technical assistance team and make her/him give remote access to their computer to them. After that, they tell the victim that several malicious programs including malware, spyware, etc. have been found in their system when in reality, there is no such issue.

Kanpur Crime Branch DCP Salman Taj Patil said that the call center ran the scam in a unique way. The entire team sent tempting ads related to ‘reducing obesity’ and ‘increasing height’ on the computers and laptops of American citizens. Clicking on the ad led to a pop-up that was essentially malware that couldn’t be closed. Pretending to resolve the issue the gang used to download remote access software and got access to their computer.

Citizens in the United States believed the caller was assisting them, but it was actually trapping them in a web of fraud.

The call centre team would contact that person again after the gang had remote access to their computer. They used to inform the consumer that they had overcharged for technical support and that it needed to be returned.

They would obtain the person’s bank details under this guise. They then hacked the customer’s system and credited their account with a $2,000 credit. The call centre personnel would contact the consumer and explain that they had sent $2,000 by mistake and that they would refund $1,800 to them.

The main accused did his engineering from Pune and was in touch with some vendors to get access to the customers’ database in the US.

The gang had made close to Rs 9 crore by doing this fraud. Police are trying to ascertain the role of people involved in running this call centre.

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