25-year-old mastermind says they ran scams in pharma, banking and grants sectors
Mumbai: In his interrogation, call centre scam mastermind Sagar Thakkar has revealed that many of his counterparts ran scams in the pharmaceuticals, banking and grants sectors. Explaining the grants scam in detail, he said that this was operated mostly from Russia and China. In this, the call centres would call up citizens from English-speaking nations, including the USA, and inform them that they had won a certain sum under a scheme or policy and for the same they needed them to deposit an initial sum and divulge their account details.
The Thane police arrested 25-year-old Thakkar early on Saturday morning after he surrendered himself to the immigration authorities in India. He is said to be the mastermind behind a multi million-dollar scam that duped thousands of US nationals by making them pay huge fines to fake IRS employees.
According to sources in the Thane police, Thakkar is revealing details about numerous scams not just in India but also in various parts of the world. Officials said that he informed them of scams in the pharmaceuticals, banking and grants sectors that are prevalent in countries like Philippines, Russia, China, Pakistan, South America and Africa. “He told us that a grants scam is rampant in China and Russia, which involves call centre employees calling up people pretending to be government employees.
They would then tell them that they had been granted a certain amount under some scheme as they fit the requirements. After the person believed them, they would ask them to deposit a certain sum to avail of them as ‘gove rnment fees’,” said a senior Thane police official. They would also ask the person to part with their account details, which would then be handed over to a different section to hack into if the person was a high-savings individual.
Sources said that while Thakkar was involved only in the scam that involved his employees pretending to be IRS employees, some people he knew ran the other ones. “These scamsters generally target people in English-speaking nations especially countries like USA, Canada and UK. The countries where they would be operating from were the non-English speaking ones wherein the employees would be trained to gain an accent and language skills,” the official said. He added that at most times the employees were unaware of the scam.