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11/30/2018
10:15 AM
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39 Arrested in Tech Support Scam Crackdown: Microsoft

Law enforcement officials in India raided 16 call center locations that conned primarily American and Canadian victims.

Earlier this week, local law enforcement officials in India raided 16 call centers identified by Microsoft as engaging in tech support fraud, pretending to be affiliated with companies including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Dell, and HP. Thirty-nine have been arrested so far.

In a New York Times report, Ajay Pal, senior superintendent of police, said the scammers took money from thousands of primarily American and Canadian victims. Microsoft has received more than 7,000 victim reports from the 16 locations, which are spread over 15 countries.

Call center scammers usually prompt victims with a phone call or pop-up, warning of a computer problem and using scare tactics to get them to call tech support. Victims are manipulated into providing remote access for "further diagnosis" and typically charged a fee of $150 to $499 for unnecessary tech support, which also leaves their computers vulnerable to attacks.

This most recent raid happened six weeks after a successful operation by the Delhi Cyber Crime Cell, which raided 10 call centers, arrested 24 people, and obtained evidence including call scripts, live chats, voice call recordings, and customer records. The takedown successes in India reflect broader global effort to combat tech support fraud, Microsoft explains in a blog post.

The post, by Courtney Gregoire, assistant general counsel of Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, goes into detail about how analysis of cybercriminals' behavior is influencing products and services including Windows 10, Windows Defender, and the SmartScreen filter.

Gregoire points out that education is the best defense and advises readers to be wary of unsolicited phone calls or pop-ups. Microsoft will never proactively contact customers for PC or technical support, she says. All contact with the company must be initiated by users.

Read more details here.

 

 

 

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CameronRobertson
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CameronRobertson,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2018 | 10:14:08 PM
Scam game
Scammers have been doing this job for decades so they are getting better as we speak. Look at the percentage of victims who became vulnerable just over a phonecall. We need to be vigilant at all costs because only we have control over our own security. When money is concerned, always remember to withhold as much information as possible.
ThomasMaloney
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ThomasMaloney,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/11/2018 | 11:27:57 PM
Recognization is key!
Honestly, I'm really not surprised at how many of these scam centres are popping up. It seems like every other day I'm getting a new type of phishing email or some other long lost aunt who wants to bequeath to me a few million dollars. The good thing about this deluge of fakes is that it's becoming easy to start recognizing the patterns of their trickery. I think people will be a lot more well informed as they see how easy it is for these people to try and scam you...
Mike Fowler
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Mike Fowler,
User Rank: Author
12/3/2018 | 5:09:40 PM
Re: Good to see
I couldn't agree more Reisen.  They have been operating with (seeming) impunity for far too long.  I hope this is the first of many such operations.
REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
12/3/2018 | 1:49:02 PM
Good to see
I have received a few calls from a Tech warning me about my system - usually yell back and curse.  An associate of mine tries to upload ransomware to THEIR system and/or leave then on hold for 45 min.  GLAD these scum got arrested.  The AVAST scam is particularly bad. 
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