Fake call centre conning US nationals busted, 5 held

Fake call centre conning US nationals busted, 5 held

A fake call centre targeting US nationals with loan promises and swindling them through process fees and security deposits using gift cards was busted in Jogeshwari suburb of Mumbai, and five people were arrested, police said on Sunday.

The raid was carried out in the early hours of Sunday in Prem Nagar locality, a Meghwadi police station official said, adding calls were made using 'magicJack', a device that facilitates international calls through internet or landline and cordless phones using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

He identified the arrested persons as main accused Afsan Alam Sheikh, Mohsin Sayyed, Rameez Sheikh, Arbaz Ansari and Umer Shafique Meer, all of whom have been remanded in police custody till December 26.

"Using magicJack device, they would call US citizens and promise them loans. Once someone fell for it, the accused would demand security deposit charges or processing fees through gift cards, which were then converted to Indian currency here," the official explained.

Investigating Officer Rajdutt Kamble said main accused Afsan Alam Sheikh would routinely provide a list of 80-90 US nationals to the other four, and money made from such calls would be shared among the five.

"They were operating this racket for the past two months. We have recovered four laptops, 12 mobile phones, three routers, a hard disk and other call centre equipment. They have been charged under IPC and Information Technology Act for cheating and forgery," Kamble said.