Most of us have heard the occasional warning from the IRS that the caller on the other line pretending to offer you a bargain on unpaid tax dues might be a scam artist. The scam usually culminates in the recipient of the call settling the debt for a token amount (or a large amount) with the money disappearing into cyber space.
Unfortunately there are plenty of victims to be found. The scam has been proliferating and does not seem to be running out of steam anytime soon.
What is usually not so well understood is where the crime originates. Some light on the practice has been shed by an Indian newspaper which reviewed some of the enforcement actions taken by local police to combat call center crime.
In one such action Police arrested 700 (!) people connected with call centers set up in India with the sole purpose to call US citizens and impersonate IRS collection officers. The daily revenue generated this way came out to approximately 250,000 US-$ or about 7.5 Mio a month. (close to 100 Mio per year)
The average monthly revenue per call center agent was therefor about 10k. Considering that the call center agent should not cost more than US-$ 500 per month...a rather profitable venture.
The article can be found here and makes for an interesting read as to how the companies are structure.