On Sunday evening, Thane police busted a fake call centre racket run by two youths from Anandnagar, Kasarvadavli. The duo targeted Americans who needed small-time loans and sought Itune scratch cards from them as processing fees. They would then reimburse the card to their bank accounts after sending bogus cheques to the applicants.For the past three to four months, Rakesh Kondvani (21) and Zoravat Shersingh Rajput (28) ran a call centre racket which duped American residents of small amounts of money. Both of them hail from Rajasthan and Rajput is a mechanical engineer. They were unemployed and ran this call centre to source their expenses, said a police official from Kasarvadavli police station.This entire racket was run by three teams – one who sourced loan borrowers data from the US, duo who called these borrowers and a third team who did the financial transactions.The duo would obtain the data of loan seekers who were out to get Payday loans (small amounts ranging from $100 to $ 1000) to pay immediate bills. Using a fake American accent, they would call the applicants on Skype, Eyebeam and X-lite, saying they were from the US lending club or any such organisation. Then they would ask them to send ITune target cards as their processing fees. “They would ask the applicants to buy Itune card worth US $600 or US $800. There is a 16-digit number on these cards,” said senior police inspector D S Dhole, Kasarvadavli police station. “They would take the 16-digit number from the applicant and send it to the card processor. The amount would be reimbursed to the call centre employees’ bank account,” he said.The bank account used for getting the money reimbursed was also of the US. “From there, the money would be sent to India through angadia or hawala,” says a police source. Since the amount was small, there have been no complaints about this fraud, says the source.The duo would spend the money partying with friends. One of their friends informed the cops about the racket last month. On the night of February 26, the cops raided their flat-cum-call centre at Unnati Woods and arrested them with two laptops. “We found numbers of 600 Americans who were called from their laptop this month. They have deleted previous numbers,” says Dhole.The duo were charged under sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention) and the Information Technology Act and produced in Thane court on Monday. They have been remanded in police custody till March 6.

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Thane police bust call centre racket, duo arrested