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Hundreds arrested, detained in sophisticated India-based IRS scam

If you’ve been wondering where all those calls from scammers posing as IRS agents are coming from, here’s your answer.


And, according to authorities in that country, it was quite an organized and sophisticated enterprise, something akin to the “boiler room” at a major stock brokerage.

According to Reuters, law enforcement agencies in India this week arrested scores of people in connection with IRS scams they say were run from call centers scattered around Mumbai.

Those arrested are accused of posing as U.S. IRS officials and calling Americans with threats of arrest for tax evasion. Callers told victims they could settle the cases if the victims sent them thousands of dollars. In some cases, victims were advised to settle the nonexistent debts with iTunes and gift cards.

The cons bilked Americans out of tens of millions of dollars during the year it operated, authorities said.

Indian police arrested 70 people and detained more than 700 others during raids on Tuesday, Reuters reports. Police said they believed the ring leaders were still on the run.

Investigators said those making calls for the scam were instructed on how to sound like Americans and were provided with scripts of tips to convince skeptical victims. Successful scammers earned the equivalent of $150 to $1,500 a month, they said.

Police said during a court hearing Thursday that employees at the call centers applauded when a scammer made a big score.

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