Call centre fraud: US, CBI bust call centres defrauding elderly Americans; Details here

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October 17, 2020 1:55 PM

On Friday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in coordination with the US’ Department of Justice (DoJ), raided several locations in the six cities where the call centres were operating.

The backend operations of the call centre were being managed by at least six private companies.

A joint investigation team of Indian and US officials has busted an alleged call centre racket. A report in IE today stated that the racket was targeting elderly residents of America for about nine years. It added that the backend operations of the call centre were being managed by at least six private companies located in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Jaipur, Faridabad and Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri.

The report stated that the victims had been receiving fake pop ups claiming a malware infection on their computers, and they nudged them towards a toll-free number. The toll-free number connected these users to call centres in India. The operators at these call centres would ask the users to give them remote access to their computers so that they could “solve” the problem. After that, the operators would list down fake problems in the computers and demand hundreds of dollars from the users for unnecessary software and services, the report added.

On Friday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in coordination with the US’ Department of Justice (DoJ), raided several locations in the six cities where the call centres running the alleged fraud were operating from. Earlier, five international entities and an American individual believed to be in on the fraud had been issued temporary restraining orders by a US federal court.

The report cited CBI officers as saying that Softwill Infotech Pvt Ltd in New Delhi, Noida-based Benovellient Technologies Pvt Ltd, Innovana Thinklabs and Systweak Software in Jaipur and Gurugram-based Saburi Global Services Pvt Ltd are under investigation.

In the raids, incriminating documents, digital evidence of the fraud, details of bank accounts and fixed deposits amounting to Rs 190 crore, gold worth Rs 55 lakh and cash to the tune of Rs 25 lakh were recovered, according to CBI.

The report cited the DoJ’s and US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida complaint as stating that Michael Brian Cotter, a 59-year-old resident of California, had been knowingly providing US support to the Indian accomplices who were defrauding elderly citizens in the US.

The DoJ had listed five companies, including Global Digital Concierge (formerly Tech Live Connect) in Singapore, Kevisoft LLC in New York, Sensei Ventures Inc and NE Labs Inc, both in Nevada, and Kevisoft UK. The DoJ stated that these companies were being used by Cotter to facilitate the fraud being conducted by the India-based call centres.

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