‘Social security number hacked’: How a Noida call centre d…[ad_1]
Employees of the call centre busted by the Gautam Buddha Nagar police Wednesday used to dupe US nationals, whose numbers they had secured through the dark web, by convincing them that their social security number had been compromised and that the executives could help them if they parted with their bank account details, police said.
As many as 84 persons, including 34 women, were arrested Thursday for allegedly duping hundreds of US nationals in around four months. Officials said the executives cheated their targets by posing as personnel of the Social Security Administration (SSA) agency in the US.
Police said they had received a tip-off that an illegal call centre was being run from a rented premises in sector-6, Noida. “On Wednesday, a team searched the office and we found that 84 persons were working there and were involved in duping US nationals. All of them were arrested later,” said Shakti Mohan Avasthy, Additional DCP. “A total of 150 computer sets, 13 mobile phones, a server along with router, and Rs 20 lakh cash were recovered from the spot,” Avasthy added.
Police said the accused have likely committed a fraud of more than Rs 50 crore. “Although it is not clear how many people were cheated, the number is definitely in the hundreds. The masterminds of the gang, namely Yogesh Pujari and Harshit, are on the run. We have formed a team to arrest them at the earliest following which we would be able to get more details about their operation,” said the Additional DCP.
Explaining the modus operandi, an official said the accused had accessed numbers of their targets through the dark web and used to send out voice messages by using dialer software through an interactive voice response.
“Many would ignore such messages, but some would call back on the number provided…In response to the call of the victim, the accused used to read out from a written script which stated: ‘The reason you were contacted today was to inform you regarding some legal enforcement action filed on your social security and we have got an order to suspend your social… because we have found many suspicious activities done on your SSN…’ After this, they would ask their targets confidential details to establish their identity and make them believe that they are helping them out in a case of ‘identity theft’ and trying to find the real culprit,” said an official.
The executive would then transfer the call to their colleague, who would pose as a “US Marshall”. “At this step, the accused used to tell the victim that their bank account had been seized and if they want to get their money back, they have to convert it either to crypto currency or gift card. If the victim opted for crypto, they would give a barcode, using which the accused would receive the money. If the caller opted for a gift card, the accused would ask for its number. Once the number was shared, the accused would convert the gift card code and transfer the amount into their account,” said an official.
A case under sections of cheating, criminal conspiracy and section 66 of IT Act has been registered at Phase-1 police station.
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