Foreign workers have crafted a new scheme to fraudulently steal millions of dollars from Americans.
And their tactic may surprise you.
Trained foreign scammers are luring young foreign workers for jobs at a call center, where the workers then undergo a detailed training deliberately designed to scam Americans out of their hard-earned money.
The foreign scammers call Americans and pose as IRS agents, then notify callers they are behind on their taxes and will face immediate and serious consequences if they don’t pay immediately.
The scammers even go so far as to threaten to raid the caller’s home because of their lingering “back taxes” if they don’t send over the money right away.
The innocent callers, thinking they are talking to the federal government, often respond and send the cash over, in fear of retribution.
And if the callers panic or asked for more time, the foreign scammers are instructed to double-down with even more pressure.
Many terrified victims have fallen prey to this scam, and according to The New York Times, Americans have lost more than $100 million dollars because of it.
The New York Times reported:
“If they reached a person who was sufficiently terrified or gullible — this was known in the business as a “sale” — they would instruct that person to buy thousands of dollars’ worth of iTunes cards to avoid prosecution, they said; the most rattled among them complied. The victim would then send the codes from the iTunes cards to the swindlers, giving them access to the money on the card.
As it happened, the United States government had been tracking this India-based scheme since 2013, a period during which Americans, many of them recent immigrants, have lost $100 million to it.”
When investigators probed the scammers to figure out how they were so successful in stealing millions of dollars from Americans, the foreign scammers admitted they played to Americans fear.
Knowing that Americans fear the over-reaching bureaucratic government, the foreign workers discovered all they had to do was pose as the federal government and frightened Americans would hand over their cash.
One of the scammers, Jayesh Dubey, opened up about the psychological warfare taking place through the phone lines.
The New York Times continued:
“The key to the whole thing, Mr. Dubey decided, was a psychological fact: Americans fear their state.
“I think they actually are really afraid of their government,” he said. “In India, people are not afraid of police. If anyone wants to come and arrest, they say, ‘Come and arrest.’ It is easy to get out of anything. But in America they are afraid. We just need to tell them, ‘You are messing with the federal government,’ and that is all.”
Dubey was one of the whistleblowers who persistently contacted American authorities to alert officials of the scam taking place.
Indian police then raided a call-center in India and shut it down.
And The New York Times reported since one of the main call-centers was shut down, the number of fraudulent calls dropped by 95 percent.
But according to authorities, cyber-fraud is still increasing in foreign countries, especially India.
“Suhel Daud, an F.B.I. agent who serves as assistant legal attaché at the embassy in New Delhi said India is now seen as a major center for cyber-fraud.
Daud said several factors have contributed to this rise in cyber-fraud cases: an increase in young, English-speaking job seekers, a call-center culture, super-efficient technology, and ingenuity.”
With cyber-fraud on the rise, it’s crucial for Americans to protect their sensitive information, and report any suspected scams to the proper authorities.
What do you think should be done to combat cyber-fraud?
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