255 fake call centres busted for loan, insurance, job scams in Noida in six years
New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) At least 255 fake call centres have been busted in Noida in last six years for carrying out fraudulent activities in which mostly U.S citizens were targetted, a police official said.
He said that Noida has become a hub for such activities, with fake call centers being exposed regularly. People engaging in these activities have been caught across different sectors in Noida and Greater Noida over the past six years.
“More than 255 call centers and telephone exchanges have been busted and seized in Noida and Greater Noida in last six years which were engaged in fraudulent activities related to jobs, insurance, cyber assistance, and various other scams,” ACP Shakti Awasthi said.
He said that Noida Police have arrested at least 14 individuals for scamming U.S citizens in the name of health insurance policies.
“These arrests took place at Sector-2 B-43 in Noida Phase-1 police station. They operated from a call center and were targeting U.S citizens through internet calls and deceived them under the pretext of providing health insurance policies,” he said.
Awasthi said that the gang made internet calls, frequently changing their names during the calls to avoid detection. “We have seized data sheets and other equipment from the suspects,” he said.
He said that they informed people about health insurance policies and if anyone expressed interest, the call was transferred to the company named Harvard Business Services INC, for which they received $30 to $35 per person.
“These activities were conducted without any authorisation or license. The Electronic Surveillance Team, Manual Intelligence, and confidential information were utilised to track and apprehend the suspects. This is not the first case where call centers involved in defrauding U.S. citizens have been exposed and individuals arrested; several such centers have been caught over the past six years,” police said.
The police are currently examining their criminal records. Most of the individuals working at this call center reside in Ashok Nagar, Delhi.
“This incident is part of a broader pattern where individuals are arrested for running fraudulent call centers engaging in various scams targeting U.S citizens,” a police official said.
The police officials said that people must exercise caution while receiving calls related to job offers, insurance, loans, or courier services.
“Fraudulent schemes may lead to financial losses, and one should be vigilant and skeptical in such situations,” a police said.
He said that the individuals running such call centers often have a criminal background in insurance or related industries.
“Once they obtain the data, they call individuals, posing as bank officials or authorities, exploiting the fear of legal consequences. They provide information about the loan application status, lapses in repayment, or loan disapproval. After gaining the victim’s trust, they request additional personal information, such as email, Aadhar and PAN card numbers, or photo copies,” the police said.
He said that they then create a fake loan approval letter and send it via email or WhatsApp.
“Considering it authentic, victims transfer money to the provided account. These accounts are also fake and once the transfer is completed, the perpetrators withdraw the money and disappear. With access to the victim’s data, they further exploit them through phone calls,” he said.
He said that in addition to phone calls, these fraudsters promote themselves on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, sharing contact numbers and luring people with tempting offers.
Noida Police, recently, busted a center involved in defrauding the U.S citizens. “At least, 84 individuals were arrested for scamming people using their social security numbers, demanding money through gift cards and cryptocurrency. They utilised visual software and dialers to change the local network of VoIP calls over the internet,” the police said.
Police said that in another operation by Sector-1 police station, 14 individuals were apprehended for data theft and scamming people under the pretext of loan lapses. “Six women were part of this group, involved in fraudulent loan approvals and scams,” police said.
Police said that in Sector-63 arrested six individuals associated with a finance hub company for swindling people of lakhs of rupees in the name of fake loans. “They also duped people by claiming to facilitate loan approvals,” the police said.
The Cyber Crime Unit has cracked down on a fake telephone exchange operation. “The individuals manipulated VoIP calls over the internet to appear as local network calls. We are preparing a database of arrested cybercriminals using their fingerprint data to facilitate future investigations,” an official said.
He said that over 1,000 mobile numbers associated with cyber fraud are currently under the radar of the UP Cyber Crime Police.
“These numbers have been linked to various cybercrimes in recent months. The investigation may lead to the deactivation of active SIM cards used for cybercrime. Most of these numbers are from Jamtara, Mewat, Bharatpur, and some districts of Bihar,” the official said.