Paybacks for the blood sucking Call Centres
Till the other day they appeared a little idiotic voices on the other side when you made a call to the call centre. They would read from a script. You knew that the American and the rest of the civilised world laughed at their accent and stupidity.
Unknown to us this voice had transformed into a criminally menacing voice with practiced American accent and has been extorting money, big money, from the American citizens. This new voice belonged to the unscrupulous and ruthless blackmailer, extortionist and scamster.
It used the voice-over-internet-technology, normally used by the terrorists and drug syndicates to hide their telephone numbers and locations.
The targets were the senior American citizens, men and women, the most vulnerable population.The annual financial loss to elderly victims of financial abuse in the US is estimated to be at least $2.9 billion!
Every employee was given a script upon joining the firms, the first line of it read: “Hello, I am an officer calling from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) of which you are a tax defaulter.”
The victims were harassed, hounded and threatened with arrest with these unnumbered call and blackmailed into paying amounts ranging from $500 to $50,000, depending on their capacities, under threat of arrest!
Their executives would force victims to pay non-existent tax dues through gift cards of a specific brand or through wire transfers, allegedly making Rs 1.5 crore a day in this manner.
There has even been a case of an older American woman who died during this two hour long ordeal. Her son abused the caller who quietly disconnected the line.
Thane police raided at least 9 call centres, booked 700 people and made 70 arrests on charges of cheating, extorting and impersonating under the Indian Penal Code and other relevant Act.
This has turned out to be a Pandora’s Box. According to police, though the mother of these call centres is in Ahmedabad, the call centres have been operating from Andheri, Vile Parle, Bandra and several other locations.
In fact, there are also instances where these call centres have been operating from the homes!
The state police have also alleged hawala transactions by owners of the call centres.
The Call Centre Rackets and the paybacks
The word is that the Call Centre Racket is not limited to the few call centres that have been raided in Mira Road and Thane so far.
The Police have arrested 700 employees and the master mind, SagarThakkar alias Shaggy, is said to be holed up in Dubai. Shaggy is suspected of owning 17 call centres that were mostly managed by his friends. While nine call centres are claimed to be in Mumbai, the rest are in Gujarat. A total of 2,000 people work in these call centres.
But seeing the kind of money every call centre employee was making (Rs 15,000 – 20,000 plus a cut from the amount extorted which ran into a couple of lakh for every employer) and Rs 3-5 crore a month by the call centre ‘boss’, the racket seems widespread.
Sagar Thakkar alias Shaggy may not be the only big fish. The Police have even arrested his ‘mentor’! Borivili based Jagdish Kanani is said to have taught the ropes ‘some others’ too.
America’s prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is already in India and their blood hounds are on the trail of everyone who has played any role in this dirty business.
And I guess, the FBI will locate several ‘master minds’ and pick up a planeload of them to try them in the US, as it is a major crime against thousands of American.