Five youngsters including four from Delhi were held on Thursday night in a joint operation by the Special Task Force (STF) and cyber crime cell of Uttarakhand police for duping US nationals from an international call centre operated by them at a posh locality in Dehradun. All five have been booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code.
The gang mostly duped senior American citizens by extracting their details from their Social Security Number (SSC) akin to the Aadhar number in India.
The state police team acted after getting inputs from security agencies. The gang’s modus operandi was such that hardly any of their neighbours in Vasant Vihar locality smelled fish, police told News18.
"The people working at a Dehradun call centre were provided details by their counter parts in the national capital region. Their targets were senior American citizens who were either offered a lucrative gift card, insurance scheme or were terrified in the pretext of their links with illegal activities" said Ajay Singh, senior superintended of police (STF), adding, "The targets who would fall in trap were asked for big monies which was then transferred in accounts of operators based in NCR."
The call centre operated during the night in a bid to match with the American time zone. For instance, India is 10 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Washington. The accused, mostly in their 20s, are said to be tech savvy and fluent in American accent. Once their operation was conducted successfully, the youngsters used to get handsome amount in the name of commission.
The officials are investigating how many American citizens fell prey to the scam and the scale of amounts which have been transferred from abroad. During the raid, police also recovered a SUV, multiple computers, branded watches and over Rs 4 lakh cash among other items.