By now, I am sure that you have heard about the multitude of IRS tax scams out there involving callers pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service, demanding payment from unsuspecting victims for “outstanding tax bills.” These scams have been going on for a number of years, but have really picked up speed recently with the advancements of “spoof” and “robo-calling” on their side. As taxpayers have grown more and more tired of these scammers taking advantage of innocent people, they have begun demanding that the IRS and law enforcement agencies take action. This has proven difficult, however, as said agencies have very good reason to believe that many of these calls are originating from outside of the United States. Recently, however, dozens were arrested in Mumbai, India for their alleged involvement in a ring of tax-related scams.
According to Paramvir Singh, Thane’s police commissioner (Thane is a city in the Mumbai metropolitan region), “Seventy workers have been formally arrested and around 630 others are being investigated. We expect that many more people will be arrested.” This is believed to be one of India’s biggest scams ever of its kind.
The callers were even trained to speak in American accents and would give fake American names and IRS batch numbers to victims in order to dupe them out of thousands of dollars. Upon receiving countless calls from distraught American citizens, Singh finally decided to take action.
An undercover call center worker or “mole” was sent in to investigate. They recorded all of the phone calls and recovered 851 hard disks on which the calls were recorded. After the initial tip-off, approximately 200 officers raided nine premises in Mumbai’s financial district.
Although it may not seem like much, these 70 arrests (and the several to follow according to police commissioner Singh) are a start. Whether these arrests are the start of other law enforcement agencies following Singh’s example and finally taking a more aggressive approach; or they serve as a warning to other scammers out there. Either way, these 70 arrests could be the beginning of the end of these scams altogether.