The searches were spread across various locations including Jaipur, Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad & Mainpuri The Central Bureau of Investigation, in an operation conducted in coordination with the US Department of Justice against six firms, which were involved in cheating hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people in the U.S., has detected assets worth over ₹190 crore linked to the accused persons.
“The CBI is collaborating with its counterparts in other countries to identify the network, dismantle their infrastructure and bring the perpetrators of crime to justice,” it said.
The agency said: “The U.S. Department of Justice and the CBI collaborated in this regard, and on Thursday, the US Federal court ordered an individual and five companies to stop engaging in the technical-support fraud scheme that is alleged to have defrauded hundreds of elderly and vulnerable U.S. victims.”
According to U.S. Department of Justice, the accused from Glendale in California, knowingly provided support to the India-based accomplices and facilitated the scheme through several companies, including in Singapore.
“The temporary restraining order issued by the U.S. court dismantles these defendants’ U.S. infrastructure, such as websites and payment processing relationships, and prohibits the defendants from continuing to facilitate the alleged scheme,” the CBI said.
During the recent searches in Delhi, Jaipur, Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh, the agency seized digital evidence and also identified bank accounts and fixed deposits to the tune of ₹190 crore. It also seized about ₹25 lakh in cash and gold worth ₹55 lakh. The accused companies were identified as Softwill Infotech Private Limited and Saburi TLC Worldwide Services Private Limited in Delhi; InnovanaThinklabs Limited and Systweak Software Private Limited in Jaipur; Saburi Global Services Private Limited in Gurugram; and Benovellient Technologies Private Limited in Noida.
“It was alleged that these companies would contact the victims via internet pop-up messages that falsely appeared to be security alerts from Microsoft or any other well-known company,” said the agency.
Through the message, the accused would fraudulently claim that the consumer’s computer security had been compromised as it was infected by a virus. It would run a scan through the system, falsely confirming the presence of a virus and malware.
The message would display a toll free number for technical assistance. Distress calls from the potential victims would land at the call centres run by the accused persons. The companies would then remotely access the victims’ computers and make the callers believe that there was indeed an issue.
The victims would pay up hundreds of dollars for the technical services and software packages on the false promise of fixing non-existing problems. Several irrelevant software packages developed by the accused companies are being examined.