US: Indian-origin people among 15 indicted in massive call-center scam
As many as 15 people, including Indian-origin, and five India-based businesses were indicted yesterday in the multimillion-dollar call center scam which defrauded thousands of US citizens of hundreds of millions of dollars. Seven persons were arrested in the US on Thursday for their alleged involvement in the scam that victimized over 2,000 American nationals, resulting in over $5.5 million in losses. Here's more.
Here are the details of those arrested
Mohamed Kazim Momin, Palak Kumar Patel, Mohmed Sozab Momin, Rodrigo Leon-Castillo, Devin Bradford Pope, Nicholas Alezander Deane, Drue Kyle Riggins, and Jantz Parrish Miller were arrested and arraigned yesterday before a US magistrate, Judge Janet F King, the officials said. Seven defendants and five call centers in India were also charged for their alleged involvement, they added.
IRS impersonation scam has risen to a new level: Official
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, J Russell George, said, "This indictment makes clear that the Indian Revenue Service impersonation scam has risen to a new level." The Inspector General also noted that since 2013, the IRS impersonation scam has been on a relentless path, claiming more than 14,000 victims who have lost upwards of $71 million to the scammers.
Accused impersonated as IRS officers to defraud US victims
The indictment alleged that the defendants were involved in a sophisticated scheme organized by co-conspirators in India, including a network of call centers located in Ahmedabad. Between 2012-2016, the defendants perpetrated a complex fraud and money-laundering scheme in which individuals from Ahmedabad call centers impersonated officials from the IRS or US Citizenship and Immigration Services in a ruse designed to defraud victims in America.
Targeted US citizens were mostly elderly people and legal immigrants
The Indian call centers used various telephone fraud schemes to defraud mainly vulnerable Americans, including elderly and legal immigrants. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators called potential victims while impersonating officials from IRS or individuals offering fictitious payday loans.
Accused would threaten victims over arrest and imprisonment
The call center operators would threaten victims with arrest or imprisonment if they didn't pay taxes or penalties to the government. If the victims agreed, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of US-based co-conspirators to liquidate and launder the extorted funds by purchasing prepaid debit cards or through wire-transfers, including MoneyGram and Western Union, to the attention of fictitious names.
Here are the five India-based call centers indicted in scam
The five India-based call centers that have been indicted are Excellent Solutions BPO, ADN Infotech Pvt. Ltd, Infoace BPO Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Adore Infosource, Inc., and Zurik BPO Services Pvt. Ltd. Apart from the aforementioned people, the others who were indicted include Shylesh Kumar Sharma, Dilipkumar Kodwini, Radhishraj Natarajan, Shubham Sharma, Nirav Janakbhai Panchal, Athar Parvez Mansuri, and Mohammad Samir Memon.