In an India-based call center scam, over 20 Indian-origin individuals have been sentenced to up to 20 years of imprisonment in the United States. It is believed that over a 1000 U.S. citizens were scammed of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Most of these citizens comprise of aged people and immigrants. The U.S. government has been consistently striving to make a dent in the call center scam industry and this is one of their most substantial victories.
U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions expressed that the government is using every resource to fail these fraud schemes and bring justice to the victims. It is imperative that their hard-earned savings are protected from such criminals.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, people from call centers in Ahmedabad posed as officials from IRS (Internal Revenue Services) or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. It is due to this reason that prime targets were legal immigrants and old people. The pseudo-officials threatened these citizens to pay their dues to the government and a failure to do so would lead to serious legal actions like arrest, imprisonment or deportation.
The scammers had a network of runners in U.S. to liquidate the money which came from the victims who agreed to pay the pseudo-officials via wire transfers. Runners purchased reloadable cards and forwarded the card number to people in Ahmedabad.
These cards were registered under the name of the victim and then, the cards were filled with the scammed amount. Runners purchased money orders and deposited them into another bank account while payment for the order was done through these cards.
The total reimbursement accountable for the crimes is approximately $8.7 million dollars, payable by the criminals to the victims. Five India-based call centers and over 30 conspirators were named in the indictment with similar charges. However, their arraignment is still pending.