SOUTH PLAINFIELD — Six people have been arrested after police say they scammed people out of more than $100,000 over the phone.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said the victims told police they were told they either owed money to the IRS or that family members had been arrested and needed money for legal fees. Carey said they were told to pay by gift cards from large stores in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Those gift cards were then used by the defendants to buy purchases for themselves.

The case was investigated by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, the South Plainfield Police Department, the Jersey City Police Department, and the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Newark Division. Carey said Homeland Security was involved because it was determined that people in India were involved in the scam as well.

The six men, all living in Jersey City, were identified as Ronak Butani, 24; Jay Kakadiya, 24; Akashkumar Chovatiya, 23; Divyesh Patel; Jagdishkumar Patel, 22; and Brijeshkumar Parmar, 26. They face several charges including money laundering and conspiracy.

Carey said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detectives Ryan Tighe or Christopher Pennisi at 732-745-3300.

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