MUMBAI: A bogus call centre was busted by Kandivli police with the arrest of four men duping Americans for less than a month. People from California and New Jersey were targeted. Police suspect those arrested had links with a criminal based overseas who transferred them money made in the con.
“We got a tip-off about the centre in Gorai and raided it on Monday after zonal DCP Vishal Thakur’s nod,” said inspector Ravi Adane. Irfan Shaikh, Adil Hussain, Jinel Patel and Umesh Parekh, the mastermind, spoke fluent English with an American accent and some were earlier with e-commerce firms.
Bulk messages were being sent to Americans, claiming FBI found their vehicles were involved in crime and they faced legal action. They were told to call an international number, which connected to the centre here. They posed as FBI agents and were given a script. “The Americans were told drugs were found in their vehicles or bloodstains were found. The accused would claim access to social security numbers and if the target got scared, the accused would offer a settlement,” a police officer said. The targets were told to purchase gift cards online, scratch the number and share it with the accused.
Police suspect the accused shared this with their overseas counterpart, who encashed the cards and transferred a share to the team here. “We need to find out who this aide is and how the money was transferred. Hawala is a possibility,” said an officer.
Police have seized computers, laptops and routers from the centre. A magistrate’s court sent all accused to police custody till October 9. Police will also investigate who wrote the script and trained them to speak with an accent.

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