fbpx

Type to search

U.S. Charges 61 Over India-Based IRS Impersonation Scam

Headlines Money National News Reuters US

U.S. Charges 61 Over India-Based IRS Impersonation Scam

Share
IRS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department charged 61 people on Thursday with taking part in a scam involving India-based call centers where people impersonated Internal Revenue Service, immigration and other federal officials and demanded payments for non-existent debts.

The scam, which had operated since 2013, targeted at least 15,000 people who lost more than $300 million, the department said in a statement.

The defendants, who were indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, included 32 people at five Indian call centers and 24 people in nine U.S. states, the statement said.

The indictment said the operators of the call centers in Ahmedabad, in the Indian state of Gujarat, “threatened potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government.”

Payments by victims were laundered by a U.S. network of co-conspirators using prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, often using stolen or fake identities, the statement said.

The call centers also ran scams in which victims were offered short-term loans or grants on condition of providing good-faith deposits or payment of a processing fee, it said.

The investigation involved Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Treasury, Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service and police officials, the Justice Department said.

(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Frances Kerry)

Photo: A security camera hangs near a corner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Tags:

9 Comments

  1. Beethoven October 27, 2016

    I received quite a few calls over the past couple of years that were probably a part of this scam. I never answered the calls, but the caller left a message on my answering machine telling whoever might be listening that federal marshals would be coming to my house within the next couple of days to arrest whoever was listening to the message (they never gave the name of the person who was allegedly subject to arrest) unless someone immediately called a certain number to take care of the serious matter. The caller always gave a name that sounded typically American, but spoke with an Indian accent. I never responded to any of these calls, and simply erased the message, and no one ever showed up to arrest me or anyone else.

    Reply
    1. TZToronto October 30, 2016

      People in Canada get similar calls, but it’s the CRA, Canada Revenue Agency, that is supposedly calling. The quality of the voicemail is usually pretty bad, and it’s a mystery to me why the CRA would warn people that they’re about to be arrested. Like you, I erase the messages.

      Reply
  2. I of John October 27, 2016

    There is a circle of hell designated for bastards like these.

    Reply
  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth October 27, 2016

    What would make certain citizens in India commit such a reprehensible scheme? Is it a combination of ancient ways of thinking which have become so distorted by the passage of times and changing trends? Are the institutions representing Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity so corrupt that the respective adherents there have remained stuck in time and who are unable to marshal virtues that redound to the benefit of India and its peoples?
    These are questions that India’s Religious Leaders need to meet together and consult about, just as similar entities in America, Europe, and Middle Eastern countries must do as well.

    Reply
  4. sue.suggs October 31, 2016

    Start making 90 dollars every day for working an online job from your home office for several hours daily… Get regular payment on a weekly basis… All what is required is a pc, net connection, along with a little free-time… http://ow.ly/n1nP303oO1A

    Reply
  5. Wayneo November 2, 2016

    I hope that the US does something more than just charge them.

    Reply
  6. lori.wester November 3, 2016

    After getting fired from my previous job 6 months ago, I was lucky to find out about this amazing website that literally saved me… They offer online home-based work. My last payment after working for them for three months was 12000 dollars… Amazing thing about is that only thing required is basic typing and a stable internet connection… http://korta.nu/NDe

    Reply
  7. darlene.bernier November 4, 2016

    1 year have passed since I left my previous job and that decision changed everything for me… I started freelancing online, for a company I found online, for a few hours a day, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my last job… Last paycheck i got was for Nine thousand dollars… Amazing thing about it is that i have more free time to spend with my family… http://korta.nu/MDe

    Reply
  8. teresa.broussard November 9, 2016

    After 5 yrs I resigned from my previous work and that decision was a lifechanger for me… I started freelancing from comfort of my home, for this company I found on-line, for a few hrs a day, and I profit now much more than i did on my last work… Last check i got was for 9 thousand bucks… The best thing about this job is that i have more time for my kids…
    http://korta.nu/MDe

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.