Taxpayers across the country breathed a sigh of relief after the arrest of Sagar Thakkar, a 24 year old Indian man accused of running an irs scam. Indian police arrested Thakkar, but according to local police, the lack of response from American Law Enforcement authorities familiar with the investigation has been deafening. The call centers at the center of the irs scam were headquartered in Thane, a suburb outside of Mumbai, India. In an interview with Forbes India, Thane Police Commissioner Param Bin Singh discussed Thakkar,s role in the irs scam, suggesting that he was more of a “greedy youngster than a hardened criminal”. Thakkar, known as “Shaggy” was said to be making more than a million dollars per week, at the irs scam’s peak.
When police finally zeroed in on the call centers, Thakkar fled to Dubai. At the time, police arrested 70 call center employees for their alleged roles in the tax related scams and detained hundreds more. Calls to the United States were typically made using VoIP technology which allowed the scammers to “spoof” the phone numbers, making it appear that the calls were coming from the IRS or other government agencies. As part of the irs scam, taxpayers were told to pay bogus tax bills or face arrest, deportation, or other legal action.
The irs scam was the largest scam of its kind. By the end of 2016, according to the BBB, the scam accounted for 1 in 4 reported phone scams. But that appears to be where interest in the case stops. Despite a series of high-profile announcements from American authorities, vowing more action and arrests against scammers, Indian authorities say that American authorities have largely gone silent. There has been no interest form the United States, Singh said. “We had a visit from one FBI agent from Delhi some time ago, but there was no follow up.” Additionally, Singh says that “people from the IRS were expected to visit us and there were some people from Hong Knog who were to get in touch with us. Nothing has happened.”