Chennai

Police raid fake call centres in Chennai, arrest fraudsters for offering fake loans, cheating public

Police raided two fake call centres on Friday

Police raided two fake call centres on Friday   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Anti-Bank Fraud Wing of the Central Crime Branch has arrested 26 suspects who have cheated multiple people by offering online loans via callers from fake call centres in the city.

A senior police officer said, “So far, a group of six call centres have been raided by the Central Crime Branch, based on 365 petitions, and subsequent cases registered. A total of 26 persons have been arrested for causing a loss of ₹1.6 crore to members of the public this year.”

Notwithstanding the action taken, many people are falling prey to the enticements/threats made by fraudsters pretending to be call centre operators. The Central Crime Branch constantly keeps an eye on fake call centres that are targeting members of the public and looting money from them, as a matter of preventive action, he said. On the instructions of the Commissioner of Police and the Additional Commissioner of Police, CCB Thenmozhi formed a team to raid fake call centres.

When reliable information was received by Saravana Kumar, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, the Central Crime Branch police team raided two call centres on LB Road in Thiruvanmiyur and Perungudi, run by Thiyagarajan who is a close aide of Selva alias Selvakumar, who was arrested by the CCB recently for similar offences in Rayala Towers, Anna Salai. On Friday, police arrested R. Thiyagarajan, 38 of Salem, V. Gopinath, 28 of Saidapet and R. Manibala, 22 of Villupuram.

The modus operandi adopted in the call centres is: the fraudsters get data containing the phone numbers of customers in the market by paying ₹5000-10,000. The fraudsters also have links with private insurance operators to sell the products of insurance companies. Under the guise of selling insurance products, young women are directed to call the customers and promise that they will arrange loans for them. The call centre executives would then collect photographs, address proof and identity proof of customers and pass this on to the insurance agents for further follow up. Then, the customers are issued with insurance policies, but no loans.

The customers who are in need of loans are thus forced to spend their money on buying insurance products as promises are made to arrange bank loans for them, and then, left high and dry without a loan. In case customers say they are not interested in the insurance products, they are made to pay an amount as ‘commission’ for an instant loan to be arranged without any security, CCB officials said.

A press release said the City Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal advised the police force to contain such crimes in the city. The Greater Chennai Police has appealed to the public to be very cautious as fraudsters could utilise the COVID-19 pandemic situation to launch other such schemes of deception.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 8:37:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/police-raid-fake-call-centres-in-chennai-arrest-fraudsters-for-offering-fake-loans-cheating-public/article32049954.ece

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