US Charging 61 People in Call Center Scam Based in India


irsIt can be a frightening call to get.

Callers posing as tax and immigration agents are threatening arrest, deportation or other punishment unless money is sent to help clear up what they say is a deportation warrant or to cover unpaid income taxes.

The government says it’s a scam – one that’s tricked at least 15,000 people into shelling out more than $300 million.

Now the Justice Department has charged 61 defendants in the United States and abroad in connection with a call center operation that officials say is based in India.

Federal prosecutors have just unsealed an indictment detailing the case.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell says authorities served nine warrants in eight states and arrested 20 people in the international fraud and money laundering scheme investigation. The case includes five call center groups.

Caldwell says the scam targeted the elderly and minorities, and extorted thousands of dollars from victims at a time. She says the money was laundered with the help of prepaid debit cards.



  1. I first dealt with these ganovim when my Lakewood kollel relative was contacted and told to pay about $9000 in overdue taxes. The primary problem was that he had not earned $9000 during his entire life!

    Months later, the ganovim called me at home. I heard much chatter in the background so knew I was speaking with a call center. The fellow spoke an Indian-accented English and I knew that the IRS does not call people at home and threaten arrest, etc.

    Here is the conversation.

    Hello, is this Mr. Frum-not-crum?


    I am John Perkins, IRS agent number 1479214. I am calling to tell you that you must pay the $9345 in back taxes that you owe. We have tried to contact you by mail but you never responded. Therefore, you must pay immediately or we will come and arrest you.

    Wow. That sounds serious. When you arrest me and put me in jail, will you feed me?

    Yes, we will feed you.

    That’s good. You see, I hate my wife’s cooking and she is making pot roast tonight. How soon can you be here?

    Gandhi hung up.