PANAJI: The Goa Police on Wednesday busted an illegal call centre operating from the beach village of Morjim in North Goa, whose staff would pose as US government agents and would threaten US nationals with blocking their social security numbers, while later "settling" the issue by paying of fines which were then converted into Bitcoins.
In an official statement, the Crime Branch of the Goa Police said that 13 persons from Mumbai and Gujarat have been accused in connection with the racket.
"Upon analysis of evidence and preliminary interrogation, it is found that they were defrauding American nationals by impersonating US govt agents and telling them that their Social Security Numbers (SSN) were going to be blocked as they were found in criminal investigation," the statement said.
"The victims were then coerced to settle the matter by paying fines in the form of Cash vouchers which were then converted to Bitcoin and used by the fraudsters," it also added.
The raid was conducted by officials of the Crime Branch and the Cyber Cell of the state police at the Eden Hotel in Morjim beach village, from where the call centre was operating.
"Upon raid, 13 persons including the mastermind were apprehended and seizure of electronic devices including 12 computers and laptops was made," the statement also said.