FBI nabs Hyderabadi in the US over call centre scam

Published: 28th October 2016 11:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th October 2016 11:00 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The special teams of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a 50-year-old Hyderabadi based in Texas for his alleged role in the call centre scam in which hundreds of Americans were duped and intimidated into paying money to the racket kingpins who posed as tax men.

The agency arrested Narsimha Bhogavalli, 50, settled in Texas, who had earlier worked as software professional in IBM. Later, he floated an IT consultancy firm named 'Tekdynamics' that has offices in Texas and various places in India.

Sources said Narsimha is key suspect in the recently surfaced call centre scam operated from India. He was produced before the local magistrate judge on Thursday. The latest hearing was held on Friday, details of which is not clear yet.

Posing as Internal Revenue Service and Department of Homeland Security officers, the call centre employees from India made calls to unsuspecting American citizens. The script that they followed was similar: the Americans were told that owed dues to the US government, and threatened that their arrests were imminent. Then, they were asked to pay up immediately, which the fraudsters collected in their account. This money would then be transferred to the accounts of Tekdynamics in India.

"The preliminary probe by FBI has revealed that the American citizens, who don't have knowledge on tax payments, were scared after call centre staff posing as government officials demanded immediate payment. To
avoid arrest and prosecution, the victims deposited amount to the accounts that are being maintained by Narsimha. Minutes after the transaction is made, Narsimha would withdraw a part of it, which is later transferred to the Indian companies that are registered in his name," sources said.

Narsimha managed to steal data of American citizens such as their names, bank accounts and their phone numbers, based on which the call centres' staff in India, who can speak in American accent, selected and called these victims.

Sources said Narsimha maintained an account in Citibank in the name of Touchstone Commodities where the victims had deposited their amount. He also has two other accounts in Bank of America - in the names of Tekdynamics and Touchstone Commodities.


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