U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

US charges 61 defendants in call center scam based in India

It can be a frightening call to get — and it's a familiar one for many Americans.

Callers posing as tax and immigration agents are threatening arrest, deportation or other punishment unless money is sent to help clear up what they say is a deportation warrant or to cover supposedly unpaid income taxes.

The government says it's a scam that's tricked at least 15,000 people into shelling out more than $300 million.

In a first-of-its-kind nationwide takedown, the Justice Department announced charges Thursday against 61 defendants in the United States and abroad in connection with call center operations based in India.

As agents fanned out across the country...