Tech-Support scam: Indian police cracks down on 26 fake call centers and arrests 63 suspects

  • The scammers posed as support staff of major companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple.
  • The scam targeted victims primarily located in America and Canada.

Indian law enforcement authorities arrested 63 individuals that were believed to be involved in a massive tech-support scam. The scam is believed to have been operational for two consecutive months. The suspects were found posing as support staff of major tech companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple.

Modus Operandi

The scam involved users receiving a pop-up message, alerting them about their computer being infected with a malware. The scammers then prompt the victims to call a toll-free number to fix the issue. The scammer offer to resolve the issue by offering a service package ranging from $99 to $1,000.

The New Delhi police conducted its first raid on 10 call centers, arresting 24 people in October. This was followed by another raid on 16 call centers that resulted in the arrest of 39 more individuals.

During the raid, the police seized several things such as call scripts, voice call recordings and customer records, Microsoft said.

In its report, the software giant also mentioned that its staff received over 7,000 such reports which were associated with the 16 call centers taken down by the Delhi police. The scam targeted victims primarily located in America and Canada.

Microsoft has been combating such tech-support scams since 2014 and claims that one out of five Windows users has encountered a tech support scam in 2017.

Following the recent attacks, the company enhanced its efforts to prevent its customers falling victim to tech-support scam. Microsoft has been actively spending the last few years working with American authorities to crack down on such scams in the US and Canada. In addition, it has also asked the users to stay away from shady popups or impromptu phone calls.

“Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication we have with you must be initiated by you,” the company said in a statement.

Users should also not allow any stranger to control their computers remotely as cybercriminals can take the advantage of the situation and install information-stealing malware.