According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data, US citizens lost more than $10 billion in 2022 as a result of phishing calls made by illegal Indian call centres.

The Times Of India stated citing FBI data that the majority of the victims of these fraud calls from Indian phishing gangs were senior US nationals over the age of 60 who lost more than $3 billion.

The FBI has now sent a permanent representative to the US embassy in New Delhi following many incidences that were reported in 2022. To bust these gangs that have threatened to make India the hub of such illegal call centres, the representative will work closely with the CBI, Interpol, and the Delhi Police.

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So far in 2022, Americans have lost a total of $10.2 billion to such hoax calls, a 47 per cent increase over the $6.9 billion lost in 2021.

Suhel Daud, the FBI’s South Asia director, told the publication that “romance-related” scams totaled INR 8,000 crore (PKR 217.7 billion) in 2021 and INR 8,000 crore (PKR 217.7 billion) in the final 11 months of 2022. Losses from “tech support” fraud have topped $3 billion in the last two years, with $347 million in 2021 and $781 million in 2022 so far.

“It may not be a national security concern yet, but the reputation (of a country) is involved, and we don’t want India to suffer on that count,” Daud told the publication.

He also stated that the FBI received 850,000 complaints regarding cyber crimes in 2021 and over 780,000 lakh complaints so far in 2022. Investment-related cybercrime ($3 billion), corporate email compromise ($2.4 billion), personal data breach ($1.2 billion), romance ($1 billion), and tech support ($781 million) were among the concerns.