70 Arrested & 700 Detained in India for IRS Phone Scam
As is common news at this point, 2016 has seen a huge spike in phone fraud targeting U.S. taxpayers, resulting in victims demanding retribution and leading the IRS to issue repeated warnings of the scam phone calls. For most of the year, law enforcement efforts were largely hindered because the phone calls were thought to originate outside the United States and used Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology, which made it easier for the scammers to mask the call and make it seem like the IRS was the caller. However, this could abruptly end as the culprits behind this huge scam finally may have been caught. In early October, following a tip-off to police, approximately 200 Indian police officers raided nine call centers in Mumbai, India. From these raids, police formally arrested seventy call center workers for allegedly defrauding American citizens. Approximately 630 other call center workers are being investigated, and the police commissioner of Thane, Paramvir Singh, expects “that many more people will be arrested.” According to estimates, the call centers were making as much as $150,000 per day. The total amount of money that was stolen has not been revealed, though Singh believes call centers have been running for more than a year.
Although it is very likely that these scammers had associates in the United States, one can nonetheless expect the volume of scam phone calls to decrease significantly as a result of these raids, assuming that there are not many other such call centers operating. Only time will tell whether this raid will put a stop to these IRS scam phone calls, or whether other scammers will simply take the place of those that are now behind bars.
–By Tony Nasser, Esq., Barnes Law
Tony Nasser is an attorney licensed to practice law in California.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.