Cheats are now targeting gullible customers who are looking for lucrative travel deals, insurance offers or other attractive services and are hunting online directories like Just Dial to get their mobile data to dupe them.
The UP police has busted a gang and arrested 13 people for allegedly running fake call centres and making a kill through their fraudulent schemes. Sources say they earned over Rs 20 crore in the last six months through such fake schemes.
According to the police, the gang had three call centres - Karol Bagh in Delhi, sector 57 in Noida and Etawah in Uttar Pradesh.
The breakthrough by the UP Special Task Force came while investigating the insurance fraud case registered by HDFC ERGO general insurance. "We were approached by the company and based on the information we found three illegal call centres being operated from Delhi, Noida and Etawah. Three separate teams conducted the raid and arrested 13 people on July 29. The gang was changing their modusoperandi every month," additional police superintendent Triveni Singh told MAIL TODAY.
During the investigation, the police team found data of different sector. "This gang operates on the principal of leaking data. They have confessed that they leaked customers'data from just dial.com and other sources. Depending upon the nature of data they used to train their staff to dupe people. After getting the insurance data, they offered bonus or attractive deals to inactive account. Currently, they got car owners data and floated a fake car-breakdown service company," Singh explained.
The company had hired female tele-caller executives who were given training based on the data they procured illegally. The gang would lure the victims to deposit large sums of money into different bank accounts on the pretext of expenses for clearance of the bonus amounts. Currently, the gang was selling road assistance and repair facility by floating a non-existing company by the name Road Race. They charged their customers Rs1,500 and assured 24/7 road assistance service but they had no tie-up with any service station. Members of this gang were earlier this year arrested in Hyderabad but after coming out on bail, they changed their base to another city.
"Gang members are very sharp as they used to monitor complaints against them. They used to track volume of complaints on various online consumer complaints site and when they realised that the number of complaint is getting too high, they would change their location and business," Singh said.
Interestingly, the gang had earlier set up swanky offices but presently, they were operating from a residential area in Karol Bagh which was their headquarters, while organised call centres were set up in Noida and Etawah. Cops are also going to tighten the noose around companies from where data of customers was leaked.
"We will write to justdial.com asking them to check their data security. It is alarming that the gang had names, addresses and other details like car numbers, bank details, loan and insurance details. It becomes very easy to target such customers as they would always feel that they are getting calls from the company," he said
According to the police, the issue of data leak is alarming as most of the companies do not follow stringent norms to secure its customers' data and this illegal business is completely based on customers' information. Such fake call centres are mushrooming in Delhi and NCR. Similarly, the Delhi police Crime branch has busted an insurance scam, after an 80-year-old Delhi resident was duped of Rs77 lakh. Police have arrested Sumit Verma (32), one of the directors of Davis Value Card (DVCPL) that duped several people. A raid was conducted at Verma's office in Sector 38 Noida
Police said the accused received money from victims in different accounts owned by DVCPL. The investigation revealed that several complaints were registered against the company in Delhi NCR, Dehradun and Chandigarh.