The Delhi Police has arrested six persons for allegedly cheating people, mostly residing in the US and Europe, on the pretext of providing them online technical assistance, police said on Tuesday.
The accused, identified as Mohit Bansal, Udit, Yashwant Singh, Guraman Singh, Rohit Chauhan and Pfokreni Kayio, ran an illegal telephone exchange and used a foreign Internet Protocol (IP) address to lure their victims, they added.
Cash worth Rs 7.40 lakh, information technology equipment including several servers, routers, SIM box, hard disks, SIM cards used by them have been seized from them, the police said.
On March 7, police received a tip-off regarding the racket being operated from Anupam Building in Pitampura.
They raided the location and found that the place was being used to run an office from where the accused made and received international calls using dialer through VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
Throwing light on the modus operandi, Rajiv Ranjan, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), said the victims comprised the customer base of Google, Facebook, Paypal, Apple who would seek help with their passwords and other technical hindrances.
During interrogation, it was revealed that the accused registered themselves on Google Search Engine's paid services licence for helping customers in troubleshooting, the police said.
They would increase their online presence by keeping them on the top slot of search result, they said.
"This coaxed the unsuspecting customer to call the prominently available number on the first page. The customer did not doubt as the helpline number provided by them was on the top of the search result," the officer said.
He added that they received nearly 50 calls per day and would get around USD 50 for every call.
"When the customer would call the given customer care number, the same was routed to them in India by their counterparts based abroad. It was then, the less savvy customer were lured to buy Google Play cards and divulge the other details including bank account numbers on the pretext of fixing their technical issues," the officer said.
They would then redeem the cards online, each mostly worth USD 50, through a Chinese company.
"The security code of Google Play Card provided by the customer was given to the blocker who would offer higher rate. The blocker based somewhere in India or abroad would get it redeemed online from China and the money was routed through illegal monetary transactions to them in Delhi," the officer said.
Rajan added that they were bypassing the legal International Gateways and purchasing the VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) minutes from unauthorised Internet Service Providers and their act was causing a "huge loss" to the government exchequer.
"The potential loss caused by them is being assessed. Most of the victims were from the United State of America and other European countries," the police said.