Fifteen people and five businesses are facing charges for their alleged involvement in a $5.5 million call center scheme out of India that defrauded more than 2,000 Americans.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that seven of those individuals were arrested in the U.S. on Thursday, and several other individuals and businesses in India are facing charges for carrying out a call center scheme where operators would pose as Internal Revenue Service officials or payday loan officers to target their potential victims.
Many of the scammers would allegedly threaten their victims with arrest, fines, and/or imprisonment if people did not pay their back taxes or penalties.
“IRS and payday loan phone schemes seek to profit by exploiting United States citizens, including the most vulnerable members of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “This indictment and yesterday’s arrests demonstrate our commitment to identifying and prosecuting those who hide behind these types of phone scams.”
U.S. officials have tracked these call center schemes in India since 2013, a period of time where Americans—mostly recent immigrants—lost $100 million to scammers.