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Call centre fraud (Relevant for GS Mains paper III, Topic: Illegal activities through call centre)

The recent busting of the multi-million dollar scam involving call centres in Mumbai and Gujarat has led to the arrest of at least 20 people in the United States. All the arrested persons are of Indian origin, with a majority of them being from Gujarat.

It is alleged that fake call centres had defrauded thousands of U.S. citizens of more than $300 million. The mastermind behind the network of call centres was identified as Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy who ran the scam with the help of his aides in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.The crack down by U.S. authorities led to five call centres, all based in Ahmedabad, being shut down. Besides the 20 arrested in the U.S., 31 people have been arrested in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

According to police, the racket was run through a network of call centres from where telecallers would call U.S. tax payers impersonating as officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Services, or other government agencies, demanding payment in order to clear fictitious arrest warrants, orders of deportation, or unpaid income tax.The callers “threatened potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation” if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government.
 



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