Cops Bust Call Centre Duping Customers in Guise of Central Govt Services

Hyderabad: The police on Wednesday busted a fraudulent call centre running under the title of IGS Digital Centre at the White House building in Panjagutta, which allegedly duped customers in the guise of being a Central government agency and providing a slew of services.

“We have arrested Prateek Chauvey, CEO and director of IGS Digital Centre, Dasari Swarnalatha, HR head at IGS Digital Centre Ltd, and Shravan Lal Sharma, mediator engaged by the company’s MD, for allegedly influencing and forcing the victim citizen/complainant to desist from pursuing the case against the company offering to pay money. They are all natives of Jaipur in Rajasthan,” Panjagutta police ACP S. Mohan Kumar said.

The police said that the company claimed to provide around 300 services, including domestic money transfer, recharge, bill payments, CA services, travel bookings, Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS), PAN card services, express payout, Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), website design and portal services, micro-ATM services, legal and IT services, and biometric verification services, among others.

The police seized computer systems, storage devices and illegal GSM gateways/SIM boxes during the raid on Wednesday. They said all UPI payments by victims were credited to bank accounts opened in the name of IGS Digital Centre Limited.

Mohan Kumar, addressing a press meeting, said the management of the company trained tele-callers to pose as Central government service centre and collect large sums of money for services from customers across the country.

He said that the company came into the police crosshairs upon a complaint filed by a victim on January 10, as per which the victim had browsed the internet for digital service payment gateway services and later got a call from the IGS Digital Centre representative.

The victim initially paid Rs 1,800 in registration charges to get his ID created, following which he paid another `4,000 for a distributor ID due to an error in the KYC claimed by the company.

With the error persisting, the caller advised the victim to make a payment of `30,000 for creating a zonal ID, upon which the victim grew suspicious and visited the office in person on January 6, demanding his money back. However, the company refused to return his money, following which he filed a complaint with the Panjagutta police on January 10.

Mohan Kumar said that the company lured customers by posting advertisements on social media platforms, obtaining their victims’ personal information and uploading the same to its customer-relationship management software, using which tele-callers lured victims.

“Upon receiving a payment, which is done only through UPI, the tele-caller would ask the victim to download an app from Play Store, activate it with four to six services and promise to pay 30-35 per cent commission to victims, as claimed in their ads and brochures,” the ACP said.

Once a victim realises he/she has been duped and starts seeking the return of their money, the company stops responding to the calls. “The callers only communicated through WhatsApp and never disclosed their office address, which, our teams found through their server,” Mohan Kumar said.

The police said that during the investigation, they traced the company to Jaipur in Rajasthan and found that it operated a branch on the ninth floor of the White House building.

“Our teams, along with cybercrime and IT cell, are further probing the case as the accused have cheated hundreds of victims across the country,” west zone DCP Vijay Kumar said.

“Over 50 such fraud complaints have been registered on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP) also,” he said.

Mohan Kumar said they are still tracking other members who were operating behind the scenes and would nab them soon.

All victims of IGS Digital Centre/I-Globe Solutions may reach out to the investigation officer of Panjagutta Police Station, West Zone, Hyderabad through email ID and phone number 8712661275 to register their grievances.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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