India is known for being a home for call center businesses that are a part of the country's outsourcing industry, which employs millions of people.
Authorities in the western Indian city of Thane said they were investigating another 630 people suspected of being involved in the extortion scam.
The accused used to telephone USA citizens after obtaining the lists of United States tax defaulters and used threats to obtain their bank details, failing which they would allegedly threaten them with dire consequences, including legal action.
The Indian Express that the US-based victims believed Internal Revenue Service officials were calling them, saying that would open a tax investigation on the victim if they did did not pay back taxes that ranged from $500 to $60,000, according to a police official. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, an IRS watchdog, said it has received more than 1.7 million complaints in the last three years from people reporting phone calls from swindlers impersonating IRS agents.
The fake call centers operated in a multi-story Mumbai office building for nearly a year, Indian police told the AP.
Dozens arrested at India call center linked to IRS scam calls
At least some victims were also reportedly told to buy specific gift cards - allowing them to transfer funds through card identification numbers rather than direct payments. Hundreds of hard disks, servers and other electronic equipment were confiscated from the Mumbai offices in the raids the police conducted this week. Police said they believed the ring leaders were still on the run. Report the call to the IRS using their "IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting" web page.
The state is now setting up two police stations that will handle cases of call center and online fraud exclusively.
Meanwhile, there have been reports in American media about similar-sounding scams, which authorities have said might be operated out of India.
Indian police say they will share the information with US authorities, but did not say whether they had collaborated with them during the operation.
Over the last three years, the USA tax administration has received over 1.7 million complaints against fake IRS agents.