12 youths worked at the call centre
GURUGRAM: A call centre that cheated US citizens in the name of offering technical support was busted in DLF Phase 2 on Tuesday, the second such sham organisation to have come to the fore in the past three days.
The owner of the DLF-based call centre, who has an engineering degree, was arrested along with his business partner. Police said they had been running the business for the past three months. The modus operandi of this call centre was not much different from that of the one busted on Saturday on Sohna Road. With data and IP addresses sourced from the dark web, the centre in DLF 2 would send up pop-up messages to computer users in the US and use malware to block their screens.
They would then offer technical support over the phone, threatening the users that sensitive data could be compromised if the issue was not addressed at the earliest. Left with little choice, the users would allow the callers to solve the technical problem against a fee. The payment would be made through gift cards and the money routed through Europe and China.
Police said callers from this centre would identify themselves as representatives of a US-based company called Best Boy. “When we raided their premises, 12 youths were already engaged in calls with foreign nationals. We seized computers and hard drives from the office,” said ACP Karan Goyal. The two owners of the call centre were arrested. They were identified as Amit Danda, a resident of Sector 82 and an engineer, and Saurabh Chaudhary, a commerce graduate from DLF Phase 3. Police said they worked with an IT company in the city earlier and devised a plan to set up a bogus call centre then.
Over the past few years, Delhi-NCR has emerged as one of the biggest hotspots of call centres involved in cheating foreign nationals. The easy availability of youths fluent in English and the low conviction rate in such cases are seen as major reasons for such sham centres flourishing in the region.
“Most of these call centres operate from a place for a few months and change their locations to avoid being detected,” said a senior police officer. Since the targets are mostly foreigners, they avoid coming all the way to India and testify themselves in court. And in the absence of any testimony, the accused get away easily.
In the last three years, 17 fake call centres have been busted in Gurugram. The last one was in Udyog Vihar on Saturday. “Even before they set up a call centre, they ensure their legal support system is strong. As soon as such call centres are busted and the owners arrested, they lawyers come to their rescue,” the officer said.