The Delhi Police on Thursday busted a fake call centre racket and arrested 14 people, including the mastermind, a senior officer said.
The accused were identified as Akash, Shahbaz, Parvind Singh, Abhishek, Avinash, Deepak Pal, Gaurav Kudia, Mithun, Navneet Sharma, Bishwajit Swain, Ankur Dhirta, Ranjeet Singh, Raj Kumar and Raj Kumar Lal.
According to Anyesh Roy, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber), "A US national had filed a complaint that he had been cheated by a group of persons on the pretext of providing him tech support while he was looking online for services to fix his software problems".
Through manual and technical enquiry, the police conducted a raid at Kirti Nagar area and arrested the accused on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, Mr Roy said.
During interrogation, it was revealed that they had started their careers as telecallers and later set up their own call centre to earn a quick buck.
They recruited youngsters and provided them with elaborate training to make sure that they were able to convince the victims based in US and Canada about providing genuine services, Mr Roy said.
They also created a fake website with a fake US address and had four to five persons working on search engine optimisation to ensure that their fake websites turn up as the top result on Google search for tech support, he said.
When the customer called on the number provided on the website, they took remote access of his computer to fix the problem and induced him to pay money. But as soon as the transaction was done, they would stop responding to the client's calls, the DCP said.
On some occasions, they also cheated their victims by convincing them that their smartphones were under attack by hackers and coerced them into buying Google play gift cards worth several hundred US dollars, the DCP said.
The scammers would tell the victims to send the codes on the cards to pay for security upgrades and block the hackers.
They would stay on the line with the victims for upto eight hours to gain their confidence. Upon receiving the gift card codes, they would disconnect the call and block their number, the officer said.