In the past few weeks, many Canadians have complained about the rising frequency of phone calls from scammers, but Sunday brought a big bust of 35 scammers, and the perpetrators have been charged with extortion.

These scammers have been posing as Canadian officials and were targeting Canadians, and threatening them with arrest to if they didn’t pay up. The fraudsters would pretend to be with the Canada Revenue Agency or claim there was a problem with the target’s SIN, among other fraud tactics. One Canadian resident reported having been duped out of $13,500 in the SIN scam.

Those who got caught on the phone or returned the scammer’s call were told that–in order to avoid jail time–they should make payments through ATMs, Bitcoin and gift cards. Victims sent money and then the transactions were then processed by financial intermediaries, which insulated the scammers from being identified.  

The perpetrators had also found a way to have their calls show up as Canadian phone numbers and to generate multiple fake phone numbers for repeat calls. These things made it difficult for Canadians to block all of the numbers.

The report from New Delhi, India, indicated the 32 perpetrators who were arrested, were white-collar workers, aged between 18 to 39. The police also confiscated 55 computers, three internet distribution switches, two internet routers, 35 mobile phones, cheating script pages and illegal software. They had received a reliable lead on November 15, investigated and raided the location in Moti Nagar, West Delhi. The New Delhi police continue to pursue the owners of the fraudulent call centre.