Adelegation of US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) met the officials of Central Bureau of Investigation this week for better cooperation while investigating cyber-enabled financial frauds and global telemarketing frauds, officials said.
Along with the officials from FBI, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Arun G Rao of the US Department of Justice Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and representatives from the Consumer Protection Branch were present in the meeting with Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials in New Delhi.
“They discussed means for combating emerging crime trends, including fighting rising telemarketing fraud. In their meetings, the parties affirmed their shared commitment to strengthen cooperation in combating crime, specifically with respect to efforts to investigate and prosecute cyber-enabled financial frauds and global telemarketing frauds, including international robocalls and communications,” read a statement by US’s Department of Justice.
During the meeting, the officials also discussed need for continued cooperation in tackling emerging technology-based crimes through faster information exchange and evidence sharing, with a view to ensure security and protection of citizens of both jurisdictions.
The US law enforcement authorities and Central Bureau of Investigation have been working in coordination with each other against the telemarketing fraud being operated by few American and India citizens.
Last year, in October, five companies operating in multiple Indian cities by an American citizen, allegedly involved in defrauding hundreds of American senior citizens through technical-support fraud scheme, were ordered to stop their activities by US’s federal court.
The US Department of Justice had also appreciated the efforts taken by India’s federal agency, CBI, for its investigation in connection with the case.
According to the complaint filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the scheme run by the American citizen involved contacting senior US consumers via internet pop-up messages that falsely appeared to be security alerts from Microsoft or another well-known company.
The pop-up messages fraudulently claimed that the consumer’s computer was infected by a virus, purported to run a scan of the consumer’s computer, falsely confirmed the presence of a virus and malware, and then provided a toll-free number to call for assistance.
“When victims called the toll-free number, they were connected to India-based call centres participating in the fraud scheme. Call centre workers asked victims to give them remote access to their computers and told victims that they detected viruses or other malware on their computers. Eventually, the call centre workers would falsely diagnose non-existent problems and ask victims to pay hundreds of dollars for unnecessary services and software,” read a statement by the US’s Department of Justice released last year.
The CBI had registered a criminal case against five companies involved in the scheme and conducted an investigation to identify and locate the perpetrators of the crime.
Coordinated search operations were conducted at the offices of these companies and at the residences of the directors of the entities in Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad Mainpuri and Jaipur.
The CBI said: “Incriminating digital evidence related to the scheme was collected and seized during the searches.”
The complaint alleges that Michael Brian Cotter, 59, of Glendale, California, knowingly provided US support for India-based accomplices in furtherance of the scheme.
“As India’s premier federal investigative agency, CBI reaffirms its commitment for continued close collaboration with the FBI and promoting cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies on cybercrime and cybersecurity. CBI has been making concerted efforts to identify and rapidly dismantle any network of transnational cyber frauds operated out of India. This case further reinforces our continued commitment towards safer cyberspace for all citizens globally,” CBI had said in a statement last year.