In a major crackdown on illegal call centres, fake customer service centres, the Guwahati city police have arrested three masterminds and detained 191 others while also confiscating a substantial quantity of electronic devices.
The Guwahati city police also busted illegal call centres.
According to Guwahati police, this operation targeted a part of an international gang of scammers who have been duping gullible Indians and foreign nationals by impersonating as genuine ‘Tech Support Staff’.
Diganta Borah, Commissioner of Police, Guwahati on Friday said in a press conference held in Guwahati that, reliable intelligence input was received that some scammer gangs are operational in Guwahati who is involved in operating call centres across India and are scamming and cheating gullible Indians and foreign nationals by impersonating as Tech Support Staff by originating Tech Support Pop-Ups in personal computers and by impersonating as legitimate customer service representatives to deceive individuals and cheat to create a sense of urgency or fear that the Bank Account has been compromised, computer has a virus, personal identifiable information are at risk, computer or social media account has been hacked.
“We have received information regarding the functioning of some scam call centres in Guwahati. This information was developed accordingly where we were in position in action, we formed multiple teams and conducted raids in multiple locations simultaneously, some call centres where these cybercriminals were operating. We raided eight such places and detained 191 persons who were involved in cybercrimes. We seized the electronic gadgets involved or used for committing such cybercrime. We have busted eight call centres. We caught some masterminds who were involved in operating some call centres in Guwahati,” Diganta Borah said.
Two of the masterminds who managed to escape from Guwahati by road on a rented car, after getting a hint of the police action, were apprehended on Thursday night at a place near Bhabanipur with the help of Bajali district police.
The arrested masterminds were identified as Debajyoti Dey alias David (31 years old) of Karimganj district of Assam, Rajan Sidana (39 years old) of Ludhiana, Punjab, and Divyam Arora (31 years old) of Delhi.
Police have detained 191 other people, including 47 females and seized 164 desktops, 90 laptops, 26 mobile phones, and other electronic gadgets.
“The scammers mostly operate at night. They choose innocuous-looking buildings to establish such scam call centres to avoid the attention of the public and law enforcement agencies. They ensure that not a single ray of light is visible inside the building from outside to avoid any suspicion. The employees detained in such call centres during the raids are found to be from states like Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura. Monetary transactions from the victims are mostly in the form of Bitcoins or in the form of Gift Vouchers,”Diganta Borah said.
“All these Bitcoins and Gift Vouchers are encashed/redeemed into Indian rupees with help of International Hawala gangs/angeria. Hard cash comes from outside the state for running these call centres in Guwahati and also to make payment to the employees through Hawala channels. All these scam call centres are in a way running an illegal internet based telephone exchange for making international calls, which is a cause of concern for national security,” Diganta Borah added. (ANI)