Noida Police arrested 45 people employed at a spurious call centre who had managed to access customer data of Flipkart and Myntra, Assistant Superintendent of Police Shraddha Pandey told MediaNama. “The fraudsters were giving an offer of discounts to the customers and they were aware of the customers’ purchase history on different shopping applications. They had convinced many people to buy products from them,” she told us. Fraudsters had cheated lakhs of people in the last one-and-a-half year, and the call centre was run by a Delhi resident Daleep Saroj, who is yet to be nabbed, Superintendent of Police Vineet Jaiswal told us. The Times of India had first reported the incident.

ASP Shraddha Pandey said that the fraudsters had customers’ data such as names, email IDs, shipping addresses and order IDs. She also said Noida Police is still investigating how they managed to get all such data. The call centre has been shut down. “The targeted customers never got their money back and we are still trying to find out who is the person supplying the data, which is the biggest concern for us. The investigation is going on and we will figure out who provided the customer data to fraudsters,” she said. The data was reportedly “sourced” from Flipkart and Myntra, though it is not clear if it was acquired with authorisation, the TOI report cited the Noida police chief.

How did they convince people to buy products?

The fraudsters would call customers and introduced themselves as representatives of Flipkart and Myntra, Noida Police told us. They would offer cashback on their previous purchase, without naming any e-commerce website. They also offered discounts between 10% to 20% on their next purchase, TOI had reported. They accepted payments through Paytm, net banking, etc., but people never received any products. Fraudsters would demand between Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 for “registration” and “security”, the report said. Although placing orders on e-commerce companies does not involve a verbal exchange, expect in exceptional circumstances, these fraudsters still managed to dupe people.

The call centre operated out of two separate places in Noida, as per the TOI report. Of the 45 people arrested, 22 were women.