A disturbing trend has emerged in India where call centers have cropped up for the sole purpose of scamming Americans out of money, The New York Times reports.
The scheme is simple: impersonate an Internal Revenue Service employee, threaten Americans with penalties, and demand immediate payment for back taxes.
The United States has been tracking this scheme from India since 2013, a period of time where Americans lost $100 million to scammers, with many of the victims being recent immigrants, according to a New York Times article from October.
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 cyberfraud.
Daud said several factors have contributed to this rise in cyberfraud cases: an increase in young, English-speaking job seekers, a call-center culture, super-efficient technology, and ingenuity.
Some of these young, English-speaking job seekers include boys like Pawan Poojary and Jayesh Dubey, both college drop-outs who got jobs at a call center in a suburb outside of Mumbai making about 16,000 rupees ($230), “but the bonuses were double or triple that, based on sales.”
“At that time, in my mind is that I want money,” Poojary, 18, said. “That’s it. I want money. That’s why.”