GUWAHATI: It appears that proficiency in the English language helped Debojyoti Dey, one of the accused in the fake call centre case, to accumulate huge wealth fraudulently.
Dey, hailing from the Karimganj district of Assam, used this talent to launch a call centre business, which then used customers’ details to fraudulently skim money out of them. He, along with two others—Rajan Sidana from Punjab’s Ludhiana and Divyam Arora from Delhi—set up call centres in the city. They were arrested as the masterminds of the fake call centre operation, which netted up to Rs 2 crore monthly from one such call centre, according to sources.
Investigators probing the details of Debojyoti Dey were astonished at the wealth he had accumulated, turning from a simple businessman to a millionaire in a short time. He reportedly owns property in Delhi, Mumbai, and Dubai. The Crime Branch, which is investigating the case, is now planning to ask the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe into the extent of his wealth, sources said.
Debojyoti Dey initially opened a hair-cutting salon in the city after coming here from Karimganj. When the venture failed, he headed to Kolkata where he worked in a call centre. However, he lost that job during the Covid pandemic. He then returned to Guwahati and renewed his contacts with people in the call centre business and got a franchisee to open a call centre in the city. However, this was no ordinary call centre but the centre of his cybercrime operation.
The police said the accused scammed people by impersonating technical support staff by originating ‘tech support’ pop-ups in personal computers to get the victims to call them. The victims would get a pop-up on their computers with messages that their anti-virus software had expired. Then, when people would look for a toll-free number for support, they would find a fake toll-free number planted in search engines and call.
When they called, they were told that their personal data was at risk and that they would need to download software, for which they would need to make a payment. They were instructed to buy a gift card voucher and transfer it or make a transfer to a Bitcoin wallet, said the police while explaining their modus operandi.
However, their luck ran out when the police got wind of the operation and raided it.
Based on intelligence inputs, the Assam Police cracked down on eight fake customer service centres across Guwahati in an overnight operation on the intervening nights of September 14 and 15, detaining 191 people, including the three masterminds. The bank accounts of the three were frozen, and investigators are now framing charges against them.
A total of 16 arrested in the case, including the three accused masterminds, were produced in court on Tuesday. All of them were sent in judicial custody.
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