CBI, US authorities crack down on call centres’ fraud scheme targeting elderly

According to the department of justice, Cotter is believed to have defrauded hundreds of elderly American citizens.

Published: 17th October 2020 09:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2020 09:30 AM   |  A+A-

CBI Headquarters

CBI Headquarters (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: For the first time, the CBI and the US Department of Justice on Friday simultaneously cracked down on call centres in various Indian cities for allegedly defrauding elderly American citizens.
The alleged mastermind of the fraud is Michael Brian Cotter, a resident of Glendale in California.

According to the department of justice, Cotter is believed to have defrauded hundreds of elderly American citizens.

This is the first parallel operation that has been undertaken by the agencies of the two countries. The CBI, along with the department of justice, had filed a complaint in a Florida court against five companies which were allegedly involved in the scheme. It had also conducted raids on these firms and individuals in Delhi, Gurugram, Mainpuri, Jaipur and Noida in this regard.

According to the complaint, customers were contacted through a pop-up message which appeared to be from reputed firms and claimed that their computers were affected with a virus. They were then asked to call on a toll-free number for help where the call centres involved would ask the victims for remote access to the computers.

The staff then asked the customers to pay hundreds of dollars on the pretext of fixing the problem and pursuing them to buy a new software.

Cotter allegedly facilitated the scheme through several firms. The scheme was brought to the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force’s attention by Microsoft.


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