THE SCAM ARTISTS WHO WILL CURSE YOU BACK IN HINDI
Scam artists exist in all countries, but when it comes to swindling Americans out of millions of dollars through phone calls, the fraudsters in India have few peers, as writer Yudhijit Bhattacharjee has discovered. Over the years, he has received dozens of calls from scammers trying to dupe him using a range of schemes, some even claiming to be IRS agents and demanding payment of back taxes through iTunes gift cards or Western Union transfers.
“Barring a few exceptions, the individuals calling me have had South Asian accents, leading me to suspect that they are calling from India,” Bhattacharjee writes in an article for the New York Times magazine. “On several occasions, I’ve tested this theory by letting the voice on the other end go on for a few minutes before I suddenly interrupt with a torrent of Hindi curses that I retain full mastery of even after living in the United States for the past two decades. I haven’t yet failed to elicit a retaliatory offensive in Hindi. Confirming that these scammers are operating from India hasn’t given me any joy. Instead, as an Indian expatriate living in the United States, I’ve felt a certain shame.”
Bhattacharjee traveled to Kolkata to track down some of these scam artists. One justified it by saying that most of his victims could afford to lose a few hundred dollars.
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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