Fake call centre that duped US citizens raided, 8 held
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Fake call centre that duped US citizens raided, 8 held

Less than a year after a call centre scam in Mira Road in which US citizens became victims came to light, the Thane police late Thursday laid bare another scam, also perpetrated through a call centre, this time in Ambernath. And again, those targeted and deceived were American nationals. The crime branch has arrested eight persons from the illegal call centre, Mount Logic Solutions, that operated out of an industrial unit in Anand Nagar in MIDC, Ambernath.

DCP Abhishek Trimukhe said the centre had been operational for two years and the fraudsters had been obtaining commissions or processing fees, to be paid in advance, for loans which never materialised.

Explaining the modus operandi, join commissioner Madhukar Pandey said those at the call centre would call up US nationals and identify themselves as representatives of a reputed bank. They'd offer the US citizens easy loans of usually USD 6000 * for example, education loans, weekend loans and midterm loans -on easy instal ments. They would promise the loans if the call receiver paid commission or processing fees ranging from 20 to 30 percent of the loan amount. The commission or processing fees were in the range of USD 100 to 500.

Payment would be demanded through cards, and once the code was obtained, it would be passed on to the manager who in turn would convert the money into cash and divert it. “They also got forms filled from victims but after receipt of commission, the loan was never disbursed,“ Pandey said.Police are gathering information to find out the extent of the fraud, though estimates are the centre earned lakhs per month.Police have sought assistance from technical experts to analyse data retrieved from the centre. The VOIP calling system used was also illegal. A manhunt has been launched for a man in Ludhiana who allegedly helped convert the amounts to cash. The arrested accused are Devesh Yerlekar, Sachin Chincholkar, Guru Shreyan, Pramod Dinkar, Vasim Shaikh, Mohan Kulkarni, Sharan Rao and Rohan Godam.Yerlekar, Chincholkar and Shreyan were managers, police said, adding the centre's owner was one Jaya Gunjal.

Times of India

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Raided call centre was legit, but indulged in fake biz too

Two days after a call centre in Ambernath was raided for allegedly cheating US nationals, sources in the police said that this call centre was not entirely fake. This call centre was a legitimate one working with its US-based client in the debt recovery section, but it was running a little scam on the side, said a source. “It is possible that its officials were using the genuine database of US clients,“ the source said on the condition of anonymity .

Besides, operations at this call centre were temporarily jolted after October 6 last year after the police raided a fake call centre in Mira Road. “The business of the call centre in Ambernathhad trickled down to half,“ the source added.

On Thursday , Mount Logic Solutions, a fake call centre in Ambernath, which allegedly duped US citizens by promising to facilitate easy loans was raided and eight persons arrested. Deputy commissioner of police Abhishek Trimukhe said that searches are going on at the residences of the arrested accused persons and their bank accounts will be checked.

Those arrested in the latest case allegedly pocketed a generous commission or processing fee, to be paid in advance, to avail of the loan, which was never disbursed. The sources that it seems that the turnover of the call centre raided on Thursday was not more than Rs 1crore although it was operational since 2015. “We are verifying this. But their business was definitely hit after the raid on the call centre in Mira Road,“ said a senior po lice officer. The police have ruled out any link between the two call centres.

A police officer said that the infrastructure at the call centre in Ambernath was not as modern as that at the Mira Road call centre.

The police said that a name of a key player in the Ambernath call centre, who quit it a couple of months ago, has cropped up. Senior officers refused to divulge any details about this key player, but admitted that he could be instrumental in setting up this call centre. A team of the Thane crime branch is also investigating the possible role of a man from Ludhiana.

Times of India

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