More than 10 billion dollars from phishing and scam fraud affected elderly Americans in 2022 from India-based call centers.
According to FBI data, U.S. citizens fell victim to over $10 billion in losses from phishing calls made by Indian call centers in 2022.
According to FBI data found by Times Of India, elderly U.S. citizens aged 60 and over have been the primary victims of Indian phishing gangs, losing an estimated $3 billion in total.
Due to a series of reported events in 2022, the FBI now has a permanent representative in the U.S. embassy in New Delhi. This representative will work with the CBI, Interpol, and Delhi Police to tackle gangs that have caused India to be viewed as a hub for such illicit call centers.
Americans have lost $10.2 billion from fraud calls in 2022, a 47 percent increase from 2021’s $6.9 billion.
Suhel Daud, the FBI’s South Asia chief, reported that in 2021, “romance-related” frauds amounted to Rs 8,000 crore and Rs 8,000 crore during the last 11 months of 2022. Meanwhile, losses due to “tech support” crimes accumulated as much as $3 billion between the years 2021 ($347 million) and 2022 ($781 million, so far).
Daud told the publication that although it’s not a national security issue, India’s reputation could be impacted, and we don’t want that to happen.
According to him, the FBI’s website has received 8.5 lakh complaints about internet crime in 2021 and 7.8 lakh complaints so far in 2022, with offenses related to investments ($3 billion), business email compromise ($2.4 billion), a personal data breach ($1.2 billion), romance ($1 billion), and tech support ($781 million).
$10 Billion In Fraud And Growing
The FBI reveals that call center scams have dramatically increased this year; in the first 11 months of 2022, Americans lost $10.2 billion to these types of scams, a notable increase from the $6.9 billion lost to call center scams in 2021.
With the rising intensity of the issue, the FBI assigned a permanent representative to monitor and collaborate with Indian police to prevent scam call centers from flourishing. This agent will be based in the U.S. embassy in New Delhi.
Suhel Daud, the head of the FBI’s South Asia branch and legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, highlighted that fraudsters bilk elderly victims out of billions and commonly call them for tech-support, romance-related topics, business investments, etc.
Daud commented on the delicate relationship between the U.S. and India, noting that even though these scams do not threaten national security, they still damage India’s reputation in the U.S.
Daud also shared some numbers, including that the FBI complaint portal received 0.85 million complaints in 2021 and 0.78 million this year. A discussion on SlashDot has begun on the subject, also.