Scammy Indian Call Centers Made Up To $225K/Day Pretending To Be From IRS

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No one wants to get a call from the Internal Revenue Service, and for many people the tax return process is confusing and fraught with potential for errors. So when someone calls claiming to be from the IRS and in need of more information, or saying you need to pay up or face arrest, you might assume it’s a legitimate call. It’s not. This week, police in India detained hundreds of employees from three different call centers for allegedly making these sorts of scam calls — and raking in big money in the process.

News reports out of India say that police in the city of Thane were tipped off by a disgruntled call center employee that these centers were calling American phone numbers, claiming to be from the IRS and telling their victims that they had defaulted on their tax debt and must now pay — anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, which would be remitted via prepaid cash card.

We know what you’re thinking: I would never fall for that. You’re probably correct, and that’s awesome, but a lot of people fell for this. Thane police say the scammy call centers were raking in anywhere from $150,000 TO $225,000 each day, and that the operators of this scam brought in around $75 million in a little more than a year. Not bad money for being an evil jerk.

There may also be victims outside the U.S., Thane police chief Param Bir Singh told the press: “It could be the tip of the iceberg and the amount could multiply as our probe progresses.”

Additionally, police say that there may be Americans involved in the scheme. The lists of potential victims appear to have been purchased for thousands of dollars from the black market.

The number of those arrested seems to vary from report to report, though Singh is quoted in the Indian Express as saying that 772 people were detained during the raid. Of those, 70 have been charged with 630 “listed accused but not arrested yet.” Some 70 others were released after police determined that they were not connected to the scam.

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