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'60,000 conned' in call centre scam
Thousands of British people have fallen victim to a multimillion-pound Indian call centre and internet fraud.
Investigators believe the number of Britons deceived by the scam, up to 60,000, makes it one of the biggest such crimes carried out in the UK from abroad, the Daily Mail reported.
At its height, more than 1,000 people a day seeking unsecured loans with banks and finance companies were being contacted from call centres in New Delhi, with 100 of them being conned daily into signing up and paying a "processing fee" to get non-existent cash, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the UK's national police agency, confirmed that the story is accurate.
"We shared intelligence with the Indian authorities, which led to them investigating and making arrests," he said.
The newspaper said Indian police believe at least £10 million was cheated out of Britons seeking loans.
Most have lost sums between £90 and £250, though one man is said to have lost more than £200,000.
Three Indian men have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a conspiracy to commit fraud using electronic equipment, while others remain at large in the UK and India, the newspaper said.
Details the fraudsters obtained include the fact that an individual was seeking a loan, the amount required, his or her telephone number, email address, date of birth and home address.
Then when a genuine-sounding person called to say the victim's details had been passed on via the business they first approached and that a loan had been approved, they were "pushing at an open door", the newspaper said.