Scamming call centers in India are preying on Britons, threatening them for non-existent tax debts or taking advantage of their faulty computers. Recently, an Ahmedabad-based company came to the limelight through a footage which showed individuals posing as tax officials calling thousands of people in Britain via numbers in the BT phone directory and terrorizing them to pay up.
According to the latest statistics by the city of London police, victims, between April and September of 2018, lost £34.6 million. This is an increase of 24 percent from the previous six month period. The London Police have over 13,000 cybercrimes lodge. And many have been linked to India. In November 2018, 16 call centers were raided by the police in India. The raids were prompted by Microsoft filing complaints with the local police in New Delhi about call centers involved in fraudulent operations.
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The London Police says the cybercrime poses as a challenge for the authorities because the international nature makes it difficult to trace payments and suspects. A spokesman said suspects involved in call centres of this nature can often move on very quickly. Investigations by The Daily Mail shows scamsters blatantly operating, via IP addresses registered in Afghanistan, threatening Britons over the phone with ‘action’ unless they paid thousands of pounds into an account. Victims include elderly and new Asian immigrants with poor knowledge of English and the UK tax system. The UK’s tax office (HMRC) spokesman said they are mindful of the phone scams using the threat of HMRC action. He said the threats increased in 2018, to a significant increase to over 4,000 reports a month from July 2018. To February 2019, they received 73,382 reports of the scamming phone calls.
Indian students and immigrants have also been targeted and threatened with deportation or jail of alleged discrepancy in the victim’s visa papers. This prompted the Indian High Commission to issue an advisory for Indian citizens in the UK and those intending to visit the UK.