call centre scam
Policemen come out of one of the closed call centres in Mira-Bhayander, on the outskirts of Mumbai, India October 6, 2016.Reuters

There is no dearth of Hollywood movies on heists pulled by Americans on banks, casinos and individuals. Movies like Ocean's Eleven, the Informant, Now You See Me are enough evidence of American criminal masterminds stealing millions of dollars.

But, Indians are not far behind. Here's a list of frauds recently carried out by Indians on Americans:

1. In October 2016, Mumbai Police arrested 75 people from call centres in Thane for posing as US Internal Revenue Service employees and duping almost 15,000 Americans of $300 million since 2013.

One Sagar Thakkar or Shaggy, who reportedly escaped to the Gulf, is believed to be responsible for the large-scale heist.

People, who believed the pre-recorded voice messages and called back, were then told about the amount of tax they would have to pay immediately and what they can pay per month as calculated by tax lawyers. One such woman bought $500 in iTunes gift cards and revealed the redemption codes to the supposed IRS executive.

The investigators have arrested 20 people in the US, while Mumbai Police have made 75 arrests following raids in Thane. Charges include conspiracy to commit identity theft, impersonation of an officer of the United States, wire fraud and money laundering, Reuters reported.

The US will seek extradition of the suspects and warned that they could face jail time.

Mumbai Police had conducted raids on call centres in Thane, where hundreds of men and women worked night shifts. The callers had bullied their victims with threat of arrest, jail, confiscating home and passports.

The call centres were, however, not the only locations where this large-scale fraud was located. In Ahmedabad, police found "a nerve centre for these centres."

2. Fourteen people of Indian descent were charged in May 2016 in Mississippi for involvement in visa fraud through fake "green card" marriages or by falsely making claims of being crime victims.

The accused, "who sought to undermine the integrity of the nation's immigration system," have been charged in the federal court in Jackson, Mississippi, according to IANS.

"The defendants allegedly circumvented the laws and submitted fraudulent documents that are critical to obtaining immigration status," said Gregory K Davis, a federal prosecutor.

"These marriages were not entered into because of mutual love and affection between the parties, but solely to create a legal status that would provide a basis for immigration status for the alien partner and usually for some economic benefit to the US citizen," the prosecutor's office said.

3. In September 2016, two Indian-Americans, Sowrabh Sharma, 31, of New York, along with Shikha Mohta, 33, of Jersey City, New Jersey, were arrested for H1-B visa fraud. They recruited foreign workers from India with IT expertise. They would sponsor the visas by stating that they would be working for SCM Data and MMC Systems' clients throughout the US.

"When submitting the visa paperwork to USCIS, the conspirators falsely represented that the foreign workers had full-time positions and were paid an annual salary, as required to secure the H-1B visas," prosecutors said.

The workers were, however, paid only when they got a job after entering the US. The visa fraud and obstruction of justice conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The alien harbouring conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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