Fake international call centre ‘duping’ US citizens raided in Hyderabad, 115 cyber fraudsters held


PTI, Aug 11, 2023, 8:23 PM IST

Hyderabad: A fake international call centre was busted here and 115 members of an interstate gang who allegedly cheated US citizens by impersonating executives of an e-commerce giant were arrested, the Cyberabad Police here on Friday said.

On reliable information, police teams raided the illegal call centre and apprehended 115 cyber “fraudsters” including tele-callers who targeted US nationals through VoIP calling and had allegedly duped them for the past two-and-a-half years, Cyberabad Police Commissioner M Stephen Raveendra said.

According to the police, the accused persons collected data, such as phone numbers and personal data from a portal, and the employees of the call centre randomly made calls using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to US citizens.

The fraudsters would scare them saying they have received a parcel in the victim’s name, containing suspicious substances, a release from Cyberabad Police Commissionerate said.

“Then the employees of the call centre would collect the personal information of the US citizens and later threaten them that US Customs and Border Protection cell department will initiate legal action against them. The callers would then force them to purchase gift card/vouchers of the e-commerce firm so as to cancel/return the said parcel,” it said.

In fear, the US citizens would purchase the gift vouchers and inform the call centre employees, who would then ask them to give them the redeem code of the gift cards, police said.

Elaborating on their modus operandi, the police further said that the fraudsters subsequently sell the gift cards at discounted rates on another website. When the code is redeemed, the purchasers from that website send money to the fraudsters in the form of cryptocurrency.

After that, the accused convert that cryptocurrency into USDT by using wallets on a cryptocurrency exchange platform and then sell them to local bitcoin vendors to get Indian currency, police said.

Police said seven laptops, 115 CPUs, 94 monitors and 120 mobiles were seized from the accused and a case was registered. Further investigations are on.

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