Madhya Pradesh police has arrested seven members of a gang, which allegedly duped hundreds of loan defaulters in the US by pretending to be officials of law enforcement agencies in that country.
The accused, working in cahoots with fraudsters in the United States, sent fake arrest warrants or notices to loan defaulters and convinced them to transfer money to settle the loans, police said.
Arrests were made in Bhopal, Betul and Vidisha districts of MP and Ahmedabad in Gujarat, said special director general (cyber cell) Aruna Mohan Rao on Friday.
The action was followed by a raid at a fake call centre run from a rented flat in Indrapuri area in Bhopal, she said.
Abhishek Pathak (22), a Class 12 drop-out from Ahmedabad was the alleged leader of the gang, while Rampal Singh (29) from Bhopal was his alleged right-hand man, the DG said.
“The duo had worked at a call centre in Ahmedabad earlier where they attained proficiency in dealing with US citizens using American accent,” Ms Rao said.
Ahmedabad resident Vatsal Dipeshbhai Gandhi (25), allegedly helped them obtain financial data of 12 lakh US citizens from the ‘Darknet’ (clandestine Internet sites).
The others, Farhan Khan (19), Shubham Geeta (19), Saurabh Rajput and Shravan Kumar Mourya (19), all students, allegedly worked as call centre operators, she said. All of them have been arrested.
Additional director general of police Rajesh Gupta said the accused sent fake notices and arrest warrants by emails, pretending to be officials of US law enforcement agencies, to loan defaulters in that country.
If the recipient believed them and responded, the accused, either by email or through a telephonic call would ask them to ‘settle’ the loan dues by making payments into certain bank accounts.
Some part of the money, deposited into these accounts by gullible loan defaulters, was transferred to the accused’s accomplices in the US, he said.
“So far we have managed to track down around Rs. 20 lakh which these youngsters got as commission (from fraudsters in the US),” said additional superintendent of police Rajesh Bhadauria.
Two years ago, police in Maharashtra’s Thane district had busted a similar racket which duped tax payers in the US, pretending to be tax authority officials in that country.