Here's how a group of YouTubers pranked a scam call centre in India that makes $18 million per year

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Here's how a group of YouTubers pranked a scam call centre in India that makes $18 million per year
The group structure uncovered by Mark Rober.Mark Rober / YouTube
  • A group of YouTubers dedicated to stopping scam calls has taken on scammers in India.
  • The group identified a scam call centre in Kolkata and pranked them.
  • The group’s efforts also resulted in the closure of a scam call centre and arrests of those involved.
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Scam callers are a known menace who prey on the elderly and non-tech-savvy people to steal money from them. It is a known fact that several scam callers operate from India to steal money from people in western countries.

Here’s where Mark Rober comes in. Rober is a former NASA engineer and YouTuber who posts videos about the stuff builds on his channel. He is popularly known for his over-engineered packages that he builds to prank people who steal packages from outside houses.

After coming across Mrs Bessie, an elderly person who was scammed by a person for $20,000, Rober took it upon himself to get to the bottom of this. While some of the people responsible were arrested in the United States, he found out that those arrested were only low-level mules and the actual scammers were based in India.

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A single scam call centre earns around $18 million per year



Here's how a group of YouTubers pranked a scam call centre in India that makes $18 million per year
Document accessed by the group.Mark Rober / YouTube

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Rober and his team were able to access the documents of a scam call centre’s owner. This revealed that the centre earns over $60,000 per day, which is over $18 million considering that the centre works six days a week.

Team behind the prank


As part of the plan, Rober teamed up with Jim Browning, who has a dedicated channel to take on tech support scams. Trilogy Media, a duo dedicated to busting scammers, were also part of the plan.

Once the team was ready, Ashton Bingham and Art Kulik, the duo behind Trilogy Media landed in Kolkata, the city where the alleged scam callers were based. They worked with some of their associates in the city to infiltrate some of the call centres.

Here’s how the prank began


Jim Browning was able to locate four of the alleged scam call centres in Kolkata – Ansh Info Solutions, VRM Business Services and MET Technologies. The fourth centre has not been named. The group then hired 10 private investigators to apply for jobs at these centres to collect information about them.

Contraptions built by the group



Here's how a group of YouTubers pranked a scam call centre in India that makes $18 million per year
The stink bomb bottle.Mark Rober / YouTube

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The first contraption built by the group was a bottle that had a chamber in which the group placed a military-grade putrescent that induces nausea. Then, they built a custom box that was used to store and release cockroaches at these centres.

Here's how a group of YouTubers pranked a scam call centre in India that makes $18 million per year
The custom-built box that releases cockroaches.Mark Rober / YouTube

The group also built a box that released rats and a micro fogger that released smoke in the room. Finally, the team built a glitter bomb that also releases fart spray and is equipped with four cameras.

Here's how a group of YouTubers pranked a scam call centre in India that makes $18 million per year
The Glitter bomb that releases fine glitter and fart spray.Mark Rober / YouTube

The setback


Members of Trilogy Media were spotted by some scammers in Kolkata and information about this was shared in a Telegram group that contains over 55,000 scammers from the country. The message further asked members to keep an eye for the duo and shoot them if they are found.

Here's how a group of YouTubers pranked a scam call centre in India that makes $18 million per year
The telegram group and the messages about Trilogy Media.Mark Rober / YouTube

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This prompted the duo to stay in their hotels while other members continued with the plan.

The prank begins


The contraptions built by the group were smuggled into the call centre by a former scammer. Thanks to Browning, the team already had access to the security feeds at the call centre.

The scam began with the team setting off the stink bomb bottle in the office and placing a hand soap with dye was in the bathroom.

Here's how a group of YouTubers pranked a scam call centre in India that makes $18 million per year
The cockroaches released by the box.Mark Rober / YouTube

Before the scammers could figure out where the stink was coming from, the box with dozens of cockroaches was released, resulting in a frenzy. While the cockroaches were being removed, the fogger started smoking and the rat box was triggered.

The glitter bomb was removed from the office and opened in what looked like the office’s parking space.
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The result


Once the devices were set off in the scam call centre, the Telegram group received another message that alerted other scammers. This resulted in several scam call centres across Kolkata and Delhi being shut off for several days.

Rober revealed that the unnamed fourth scam call centre was raided by the authorities in India and was shut down. Unfortunately, the other three call centres remain open. Rober ends the video with a request to viewers to share the video with the Kolkata Police on Twitter.
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