Sunday, January 23, 2022 | 12:32 pm

Fake Call Centre Busted for Duping US Citizens on Pretext of Tech Support

Fake Call Centre Busted for Duping US Citizens on Pretext of Tech Support

An illegal call center operating on Sohna Road was busted on Wednesday, and two persons were arrested for allegedly duping US citizens for the past two years, police said on Thursday. Police said the suspects had been duping each victim of at least $250 ( ₹18,621.50) on the pretext of providing technical support and software development through bogus websites.

The suspects — identified as Man Mohan Singh of Uttarakhand’s Nainital and Nishant Padhiar of Jharkhand’s Tata Nagar — live in rented accommodations in sectors 38 and 48, respectively. Their aide — Sunil Kumar of Haryana’s Hisar, who was also involved in the crime, is still on the run, according to the police.

Police said that they made at least ₹2 crores in the past two years and paid their workers between ₹20,000 and ₹30,000 per month.

Gurugram police commissioner KK Rao said that Singh and Padhiar had formed a company, Paciwire Innovair Solutions Private Limited, in 2018, and had an equal partnership. “Padhiar worked as a manager of the call center for the past two years. Earlier, they used to work on domestic money projects, and the company started a website development project two years ago. But it didn’t do well. In 2019, they started a computer troubleshooting and software development company, and began duping US nationals,” Rao said.

The company had 12 tele-callers who used to make calls and dupe US nationals, police said, adding that the employees were unaware of the company’s fraudulent activities.

Rao said the suspects had downloaded the RingCentral website’s dialer to operate a string website to transfer payment and had created a website That’s Them, and they used to search for all area codes and cellphone numbers of US citizens. The executives used to call on the given numbers, and they had also uploaded two toll-free numbers to resolve technical issues faced by the customers.

Police said the executives used to sell technical support to people facing issues with computers and laptops fraudulently. They also offered to develop software for them, but Padhiar, who allegedly used to handle technical operations, voice and accent training, along with process training, used to stop taking their calls once the payments were done.

Karan Goel, the assistant commissioner of police, DLF, said the executives also duped people on the pretext of developing websites for them or their companies. “They used to send emails to people through a payment processing platform, allowing merchants to accept credit card payments on their applications and websites, where they provided a link of payments with different options. The money used to get transferred to their company account through the stripe website, which was synchronized to it,” Goel said.

They had rented an office in IRIS Tech Park in Sector 48 for nearly ₹50,000 per month. The suspects could not give the victims the company’s registration certificate, DOT license, source of customers, source of data, and mode of payment, Goel added.

A case was registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 420 (cheating), and IT Act sections 66D and 75 at the Cyber Crime police station. They arrested two suspects were produced before a court on Wednesday and were sent to 14-day judicial custody, said the police.