Cybersecurity » India’s Tech Savvy Youth Are Scamming Americans

India’s Tech Savvy Youth Are Scamming Americans

January 5, 2017

Two Indian teens last summer tipped off the U.S. Federal Trade Commission about a massive scheme based in their country to blackmail Americans by impersonating Internal Revenue Service agents. The teens were persistent, calling U.S. regulators frequently to explain the fraud, one that the U.S. government had been tracking since 2013. As part of it, the scammers (other teens known to the whistleblowers) would call Americans – many of them recent immigrants – and impersonate IRS agents, demanding immediate payment to cover back taxes. They asked for payment in the form of iTunes gift cards, and bilked Americans out of about $100 million. India has become a hotbed for such frauds, because of its’ demographic of computer-savvy, young, English-speakers based in a call-center culture, with super-efficient technology. The scam, called Mira Road, was eventually raided. But the sentiment of Mira Road’s landlord after the raid sums up much of what fuels India’s new culture: “We are not cheating people in India! We are cheating people in the U.S.! And the U.S. cheats the whole world!”

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