70 arrested, hundreds more questioned at Indian call center linked to IRS scam calls

Close up IP phone with numeric keypad

NEW DELHI — Indian police have arrested 70 people and are questioning hundreds more after uncovering a massive scam to cheat thousands of Americans out of millions of dollars by posing as U.S. tax authorities and demanding unpaid taxes.

According to police in Mumbai, the yearlong scam involved running fake call centers which sent voice mail messages telling U.S. nationals to call back because they owed back taxes.

Those who called back and believed the threats would fork out thousands of dollars to “settle” their case, Mumbai police officer Parag Marere said Thursday.

The scam brought in more than $150,000 a day, Marere said without giving a total sum. If the scam netted that amount daily, it would have made almost $55 million.

The IRS says they have received more than 900,000 complaints about scam calls since October 2013, and more than 5,000 people have fallen for the scam paying out more than $26 million collectively.

The IRS has not yet commented on the arrests in India.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be the IRS and asking for money, they warn you to never give out personal information. Report the call to the IRS using their scam reporting web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.