Police in Gurugram have busted an illegal call centre operating in Udyog Vihar of the NCR township that had been duping American nationals posing as Customs officials for a month.
Following a tip-off on Monday a team from the Udyog Vihar police station raided the office that was being run by two people -- one from Rajasthan and the other from Gujarat.
Posing as Custom Department officials, the racketeers used to threaten US nationals that they have received illegal wine and drugs on their names. The fake call centre workers would then take down the Social Security Numbers (SSN) of the victims on the pretext of resolving the problem and even charged money through e-gift cards as services provided to the clients, the police said on Tuesday.
According to the police a SSN is a nine-digit number that the US government issues to all its citizens. The government uses this number to keep track of the resident's lifetime earnings and the number of years worked.
The call centre was located at Plot No 750 in Udyog Vihar Phase-5. During the raid, the police arrested one accused in connection with the matter and seized some electronic gadgets from the spot.
Fake call centres
The one arrested was identified as Ranjit Singh Rana of Udaipur in Rajasthan. He was co-owner with Bhavesh Pankhi of Ahmedabad, who is absconding.
During the raid, the police spotted men-women working at the fake call center and communicating with US nationals. However, after questioning the police released the employees.
"The fake call centre had cheated several US nationals on the pretext of resolving SSN-related problems. The youths were employed at the call centres, which was being operated without a license issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DOT)," Satbir Singh, station house officer (SHO) of Udyog Vihar police station told IANS.
"During the questioning, the accused revealed that they used to communicate with US citizens to resolve the SSN verification process they used to charge via online payment mode," he added.
"The matter is under investigation. How the accused was operating the fake call centre is a part of ongoing investigation. The involvement of other people cannot be ruled out," the officer said.
In connection with the incident, an FIR under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the IT Act has been registered at Udyog Vihar police station for further investigation.