Call centre scam: People info sites were used to trap victims
Scamsters in the recently busted multi-crore call centre racket were using well-known people search websites, which provide a person’s name and addresses, to gauge a potential victim’s ability to pay as part of their illegal operations, police have revealed.
An internet-based call were made to many phone numbers simultaneously, called ‘blasting’ in technical terms, and the potential victims were made to listen to it which allegedly used to threaten them, they said.
“Some of the victims got frightened with this and called back. When the call was returned, the call centre executives, through the phone number of the caller, surfed through the websites (having information about people’s name, addresses and other details) in real time to understand the paying ability of the person at the other end,” a police official told a news agency.
Those having a higher ability to pay were prioritised over others and the (call centre) agents engaged with them in deeper conversations which led to negotiating a sum the victim had to pay, the official said.
“During investigation it was revealed that the scam’s alleged mastermind, Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy, and his associates used to blast the VOIP calls from Ahmedabad,” the official said. These calls were made with Direct Inward Dialling (DID) by which at a time 10 US citizens could get calls with the help of a software, he said.
The call was spoofed and contact numbers similar to those in United State’s were displayed on the cell phones, by which the American citizens were made to believe that it was a call from the US Tax Department.
The frightened US nationals would reply on the numbers to prevent their arrest and were then engaged in negotiation.
The ‘dialler’ used to asked the victim if he wanted to resolve the issue. If he agreed, then the call was transferred to his senior - the ‘closer’.