Guwahati Police discovered Multi-Crore "Tech Support" Scam
Police in Assam have uncovered a multi-billion-dollar fraud and shut down eight illegal call centres that were defrauding foreigners and Indians under the pretence of providing technical support. 191 people have been detained, and three people who are thought to be the scam's masterminds have been arrested.
The Assam Police Crime Branch and the Guwahati Police conducted raids in several locations throughout Guwahati in response to intelligence reports and found eight illegal call centres being run by scamsters. The scam has been going on for the past two years, and the proceeds were moved using hawala and bitcoin channels.
Guwahati Police Commissioner Diganta Borah said, "A reliable intelligence input was received that some scammer gangs are operational in Guwahati who are involved in operating call centres and cheating Indians and foreign nationals by impersonating technical support staff. They would also pose as customer support representatives."
Borah said the scammers would use pop-ups on computers or contact their targets over the phone by claiming to be from a well-known company or organisation, such as a bank, technical support company, government agency or even a popular online service provider. They would then create a false sense of urgency by claiming that their victims' bank account has been compromised, their computer has a virus, their social media account has been hacked or their personal information is at risk. The scammers would then ask the victims to install remote desktop software on their phones or computers to remedy the situation, and then access their bank accounts and steal their information by planting malware on the devices, the commissioner added.
The call centres had employees from across the country. The scammers' modus operandi included the use of fake toll-free numbers and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls, which are calls made over the internet. Some of the call centres also took lease line connections with fake documents from different internet service providers to create something resembling a fake internet-based telephone exchange, which could be a cause of concern for national security.
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