How an Idly caught a deadly scam


50 plates of idli, poha at 4 am: How unusual breakfast orders made Virar police sniff out fake call centre cheating Australians


In April 2023, an eatery near a beach in Virar began receiving regular bulk orders for breakfast items like idli, dosa, poha and tea around 4 am.

The Arnala police in Virar received the tip-off from the eatery about these orders of around 40-50 plates of food and tea in these odd hours and began a probe since tourists visiting the area do not order food that early. They claimed to have traced the orders to a bungalow in Virar and a dormitory.

Officials said they kept a watch on the place to find who was frequenting it and the reason for the bulk breakfast orders. Their probe led them to a fake call centre operating out of that space and the arrest of over 40 people.

In this case, the police claimed that the dormitory was used to set up over 50 phone lines with employees given desktops to make the calls and enter data allegedly received through fraud. The police said calls were made to Australian citizens who were customers of an online financial service and they were fraudulently made to give their one-time passwords (OTPs) to access their data.

The police alleged that the employees were given training on fake accents and how to convince the customers to part with their passwords. Officials also alleged that the accused in the case were spread out across the country, with each given a role including IT expertise. Like in most cases of these fake call centres, the employees were given their salaries in cash so that no documented trail is left behind, the police claimed.

“These also work as a fly by night operations and relocate to keep suspicion low on their activities,” an official said, adding that the location, therefore, is chosen to be remote and hence, the breakfast orders ended up being the first reason to raise the suspicion of an illegal activity.

In previous cases in Mumbai and its outskirts, such fake call centres were found making calls posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials in the US or bank employees.

A fake call centre operates like a regular call centre, with employees making phone calls as service providers or customer care executives but are fronts to make fraudulent calls to cheat people by garnering their bank and financial details.

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Pro Shopping Friend Pro Shopping Friend
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Turned out to be the Most Expensive Idly.

Pro DealBaba Pro DealBaba
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Learning - always cook food nd never order

Benevolent Benevolent
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Generous Generous
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Swiggy laughing in the corner...

Budding Star Budding Star
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+ Zomato left the chat
Helpful Helpful
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in my home, idly is the daily breakfast. I think I have to change it 😉

Benevolent Benevolent
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as long as you are cooking at home.. no probs
Pro Entertainer Pro Entertainer
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Unprofessional staff 😂

Deal Lieutenant Deal Lieutenant
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Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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kya restaurant banega re tu , chota eatary hi rahega

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