The call center business is a powerful driving force behind the Indian and Philippines economies. It isn’t totally surprising that scam artists are plying their trade in this burgeoning industry. What is a little surprising is that call centres are the mark, not gullible senior citizens trying to enjoy a quiet evening meal.
This comes to me from Frank, the owner of a successful Philippines call center– and almost the victim of this scheme.
Frank gets a call from an Indian call center manager (“the Indian”). They need a call center partner to take overflow from a large project.
The Indian gives the name of the client… a multinational, deep-pocket company known to outsource telemarketing.
The Indian talks a compelling story and is highly convincing.
He gives the URL to his call center’s website. It’s legit looking.
The Indian shares details of the project, and provides the outlines of a referral agreement.
Next, he sends an email with a lengthy and detailed contract.
Commission fee for the referred business is $10,000- paid up front (by bank wire).
Negotiations ensue. The Indian brings in reference accounts and more executives from his company.
A full-court press was on.
Where It Fell Apart
Frank almost pulled the trigger; but, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on stayed his hand. On a whim, he decided to call the supposed client directly to confirm some details.
While the contact was legitimate, he had never heard of the Indian or his call center. The jig was up.
While Frank escaped by the skin of his teeth, other Philippines call center owners probably weren’t so lucky.