phone scam canada

Dozens arrested in India over phone scam operation targeting Canada

Police in India say they have shut down a "swanky international scam call centre targeting Canadian citizens" after months of increasingly frequent phone scams observed across the country.

Thirty-two people, most of them in their 20s, have been arrested in connection with what authorities in West Delhi called a "fake international cheating call centre."

At least 55 computers, 35 mobile phones, some "cheating script pages" and numerous technical devices were confiscated as part of the raid, which was carried out in an industrial area near New Delhi's Moti Nagar neighbourhood.

Deputy police commissioner Sameer Sharma announced the news in a press release on November 17, writing that a "reliable secret input" was received by his team on Friday.

The tipster alleged that there were fraudsters cheating Canadian victims over the phone by pretending to be Canadian government officials and "saving them from non-existing Social Insurance Number (SIN) violations."

The scammers were said to have been operating only at night, and that they were using illegal VOIP techniques, "bypassing the legal International Long Distance (ILD) Gateways."

Officers raided the office being used for such purposes on Sunday, successfully identifying and apprehending the criminal involved in the international fraud scheme.

"The SIN scam, just one of the criminal schemes operated from the centres, typically begins with a robocall claiming to be from the Service Canada agency," reads the press release from Delhi Police.

"The target is informed that they must call back — or face arrest and imprisonment." 

"Call spoofing technology is used to make it appear the number is in Canada," it continues. "Those who call back are subjected to further threats, but then offered a one-time chance to pay and settle the matter."

Police in India are continuing to investigate the matter and say that more arrests could be on the horizon. Those already arrested will appear in court to face charges of violating the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, among other things.

Canadians are meanwhile still encouraged not to give their social insurance numbers or any sensitive information over the phone, no matter where someone appears to be calling from.

Scammers are now managing to spoof official government and police phone numbers, so be careful who you trust.

Lead photo by

DCP West Delhi

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