National

11 arrested for duping 225 people by running fake call centres

They looted over ₹13 crore through inter-State racket active for the past 2 years

Eleven men have been arrested for allegedly duping 225 persons of over ₹13 crore on the pretext of selling health insurance policies via fake call centres, the police said on Saturday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini) S.D. Misra said the accused — Prabhat Singh, Rupesh, Jitender, Robin Mathew, Dalip Singh, Vishal, Ranjan Garg, Vicky Dhawan, Raj Kumar, Ram Gopal and Jitender Singh — all of them have previous criminal record.

On July 26, a retired bank manager lodged a complained at K.N. Katju Marg police station stating that he has been cheated in the name of insurance benefits and investment plans, said an officer.

The victim claimed to have deposited over ₹20 lakhs in various accounts from April 2018 to May 2019. When the complainant insisted for refunds in May, the callers avoided him and demanded more investments, which made him suspicious.

During interrogation, the police identified 14 bank accounts in which the money was deposited by the victim. They found that the money was withdrawn via cheques and from ATMs, the police said. “The probe revealed that over ₹13 crore has been transferred to these fake accounts from around 225 victims across the country,” Mr. Misra said.

Further analysis of call detail records led the police to Prabhat who told them about the involvement of others. The interrogation of the accused persons revealed that they used to run an organised cybercrime syndicate at a national level and has been committing the crime for the past two years.

Modus operandi

The accused used to open bank accounts with fake identities after which the call centre “owners” were detailed about it. “It was the responsibility of these owners’ to make calls through their staff members to various victims and convince them to invest in their plans,” Mr. Misra said, adding that once they conned the victims, they would inform the ones who had opened the bank accounts to withdraw the money.

The police said the money was distributed between the account holders at 10%, account providers at 10%, call center owners at 80% as well as the tele calling employees.

6 cities, 4 States

The fake accounts were opened in six different cities across four States, the police said.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 9:16:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/11-arrested-for-duping-225-people-by-running-fake-call-centres/article29362877.ece

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