On Sunday evening, Thane police dismantled a bogus racket from a call center run by two youths from Anandnagar, Kasarvadavli. The duo targeted Americans who needed small loans and asked them for Itune scratch cards as a processing fee. They would then refund the card to their bank accounts after sending bogus checks to applicants.
Over the past three to four months, Rakesh Kondvani (21) and Zoravat Shersingh Rajput (28) have led a call center racketeering that tricked US residents into small amounts of money. Both are from Rajasthan and Rajput is a mechanical engineer. They were unemployed and running this call center to pay their expenses, said a police official from the Kasarvadavli police station.
This entire racketeering was handled by three teams – one who collected data from borrowers in the United States, a duo who called those borrowers, and a third team who carried out the financial transactions.
The duo would get the data from loan seekers who were looking for payday loans (small amounts ranging from $ 100 to $ 1,000) to pay immediate bills. Using a fake American accent, they called applicants on Skype, Eyebeam and X-lite, saying they belonged to the American Loan Club or some such organization. Then they would ask them to send ITune target cards as a processing fee. “They would ask applicants to buy an Itune card worth US $ 600 or US $ 800. There is a 16-digit number on these cards,” said Police Inspector DS Dhole, of the police station. Kasarvadavli police. “They would take the requester’s 16-digit number and send it to the card processor. The amount would be refunded to the bank account of the call center employees,” he said.
The bank account used to get the money refunded was also that of the United States. “From there, the money would be sent to India via angadia or hawala,” said a police source. Since the amount was small, there were no complaints about this fraud, the source says.
The duo would spend the money to party with friends. A friend of theirs informed the cops about the racketeering last month. On the night of February 26, cops raided their call center in Unnati Woods and arrested them with two laptops. “We found numbers for 600 Americans who were called from their laptops this month. They deleted the previous numbers,” says Dhole.
The duo were charged under Sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common intent) and the Information Technology Act and were produced in Thane court on Monday. They were taken into custody until March 6.