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Mumbai: Fake call centres busted; kingpin, 3 others held | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: An MLA candidate, who lost the election, and his three associates (two of them IT engineers) were arrested from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan allegedly for running two fake call centres in the name of Pradhan Mantri Loan Yojana since 2018.
They collected processing fees ranging from Rs 8,000 to Rs 25,000 depending on the needy and jobless victims’ needs.
The racket has created three loan websites and nine mobile loan apps in the name of Pradhan Mantri and they had used the same to dupe over 2.8 lakh in just two years across the country that may run over Rs 4 crore annual turnover.
The kingpin Sanjeev Kumar Singh (36) operated one of the call centres from his party office in UP. While his two accomplices—IT engineers Ramnivas Kumawat (25) and Vivek Sharma (42)—helped in creating the fake websites and loan app and also allegedly used PM Narendra Modi’s photo and India’s emblem sign on it to dupe people.
Interestingly, the cyber police registered the case against the racket after they called on one of the contact numbers that they found on a fake Pradhan mantra loan ads that they came across on social media.
Cyber police were shocked to learn that the racket through social engineering managed to get hold of Pune resident Suraj Savle’s (24)—who is appearing for civil service exams—mobile number and the same has been used in the ad because of which all the victims have been calling him for the past two months and was abused for duping them.
Mumbai Cyber Police registered the case on February 2 based on Savle’s complaint. Singh and his accomplices are in custody after they were arrested in a joint operation by Mumbai Cyber Police and the UP Cyber Police led by superintendent of police Triveni Singh on February 9.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Milind Bharambe supervised DCP (Cyber) Rashmi Karandikar, senior inspector S Sharmila and the cyber detection team first arrested kingpin Singh, who have big political clout and created ruckus when the team reached to arrest him.
The team has come across 25 e-wallets accounts and 25 bank accounts that Singh got after forging the loan applicants documents.
“Once the racket receives the money they block the victims’ numbers. Singh’s arrest led to the arrest of his accomplices who helped in creating fake websites and apps,” said the cyber police.
The racket was busted after the Mumbai Cyber Police while going through the advertisements published on social media and local newspapers– www.pradhanmantriloanyojana.com; www.pradhanmantriyojanaloan.com; www.sarvottamfinance.com and the mobile loan apps (PMYL, PM Bharat Loan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Yojana Loan, Pradhan Mantri Loan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Loan, Bharat Yojana Loan, Mudra Loan and Krishna Loan)—got suspicious when they came across contact numbers those seeking a loan can call.
“Initially, we thought of filing a suo motu case. Later, the Pune resident Savle filed the complaint as he too was the victim of the racket who misused his contact details. The UP Cyber SP Triveni Singh helped our team to nab the accused,” DCP (Cyber) Rashmi Karandikar told TOI.
Explaining the modus operandi, a police officer said, “The kingpin has hired final year college girls to work as an intern in the call centres that was running with a strength of five to seven tele-callers at each location. These college girls were assured to get observed in the government department after serving in the call centre that is operated from the centre. These tele-callers were given a script to make the victims shell out of money. They were operating the call centres to make a call back to the victims those posting inquiries through the three fake websites seeking loans and a link is shared with them to which the processing fees are asked to pay along with ID proofs and documents. Meanwhile, the mobile loan apps are used to make direct payment along with documents,” said the police.

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