Fake Tech Support Centers Raided in India: Scams Uncovered

Recovery Experts.png
Hair Loss.png
The Backup.png
Byod.png
Holiday Photos.png

Scams Uncovered – Fake Tech Support

Computers are fantastic until they don’t work as expected. Then, people often get flustered and anxiously wonder how to make their machines function normally again.

Scammers at fake tech support centers — frequently based in India — capitalize on those unsettled feelings, often coercing people to pay to fix problems that don’t exist.

Successful Crime Shutdowns in India

These fraudulent tech support efforts have become so severe that London police are working with Microsoft to catch the crooks and are partnering with Indian police forces. The tech brand is particularly interested in helping stop the crimes because the criminals often say they’re representatives of Microsoft.

During a two-day operation in late November 2018, more than 100 members of Indian law enforcement raided 16 call centers, resulting in 39 arrests and counting.

Microsoft received more than 7,000 complaints from users associated with those locations. The criminals have a global reach, since the reports of problems came from people in more than a dozen countries.

There was also another raid six weeks before the November events where police infiltrated 10 call centers and arrested two dozen people.

Then, the law enforcement agents gathered significant evidence of the crimes, including call scripts and voice recordings. That earlier raid happened after a complaint from Microsoft about the problem.

Two Basic Versions of the Scam

 

The criminals usually take one of two approaches when trying to scam people. Often, they make pop-up boxes appear on the computer that say the machine has a virus.

Accompanying information then provides people with a number to call to speak with supposed tech support personnel. After those individuals claim to repair the issue, they charge the victims amounts of typically $150-$499.

A variation involves the tech support posers contacting people by phone, sometimes going so far as to spoof the number so it comes across on the screen as being from a company that legitimately would provide computer assistance.

The callers then lie about “known” problems on a person’s machine and offer to remedy the issue.

Microsoft Doesn’t Make Unsolicited Calls

This problem has become so severe that Microsoft created a dedicated page to help people recognize if they’re getting targeted by scammers. One of the things the company points out is that it never makes unsolicited calls to customers to ask for personal information — including financial details — or offer tech support help.

These scammers have been around for a while and were so prevalent in 2017 that one news outlet warned people not to answer calls from a certain number associated with the criminals. To avoid thinking these scams are real, people should keep in mind how genuine tech support call centers operate. They usually make customers jump through a few hoops, such as waiting on hold for a while.

A 2018 report from Microsoft found although the overall numbers of people believing fake tech support calls were real went down, there were still more than six in 10 people victimized.

Many scammers got people to download software that allowed the criminals to take over their computers, but some asked the victims to go to websites.

Security Software Often Won’t Stop the Scammers

Although Microsoft is the company focused on here, the tech support problem affects other companies, too. In early 2018, security researchers shed light on a version of this scam that made users’ browsers lock up when using Chrome and Firefox.

Plus, the criminals have figured out how to make their fake pop-ups and other tricks to bypass the security software on a person’s computer.

Analysts say using an ad-blocking plugin is often an effective way to avoid the pop-ups that make the browser dysfunctional, since most of the ads are from a category of malicious web content called maladvertising. They also clarify that even when scammers lock the browser like this, it’s usually possible to force quit the browser from the computer’s task manager window.

Staying Protected Means Not Panicking

Besides the way these criminals lure people into believing lies by telling them their computers have problems, they sometimes try to shame victims into thinking they’ve done something wrong to make the “issues” happen.

To reiterate, real brands do not solicit people over the phone for tech support. Instead of panicking, individuals should take a deep breath and hang up the phone or otherwise stop engaging.

Doing that helps them avoid getting trapped into paying money or letting the criminals tamper with their machines.

By Kayla Matthews

Efficient Dispatch Operations with Spare Location Intelligence for DSPs

Efficient Dispatch Operations with Spare Location Intelligence for DSPs

Digitally transform operations of field technicians, design & planning team to reduce overall MTTR by 45% Most of the Digital Service Providers (DSPs) are struggling with the rising cost of repeat-dispatch and a higher Mean ...
Patrick Joggerst

Living on the Edge: The New Real-Time Communications Security Risks

Real-time communications Security Risks As more and more people have been forced to work remotely due to the global public health crisis, collaboration platforms have unexpectedly saved the day for millions of businesses and allowed ...
Future Image Cloudtweaks Compressor

Artificial Intelligence Communism

Artificial Intelligence Communism Our technological innovation and progress (especially in the digital space) continues to accelerate unbounded. Google has recently announced there ascension to “quantum supremacy” with the unveiling of it’s brand new Sycamore chip ...
Martin Mendelsohn

The Growth of Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) Firms

Cybersecurity and the Continued Risks Back in the day, we played cops and robbers with sticks and plastic squirt guns.  Sometimes you were pursued, at other times you were the pursuer.  There wasn’t much more ...
David Balaban

Ransomware – Cybercriminal Groups Know The Weak Points

Cybercriminal Groups Grow Data breaches and leaks represent a quickly growing security problem these days. When plenty of people work from home, the risk of data leaks is much higher. Cybercriminal groups know the weak ...

TECH ELEARNING

The CloudTweaks technology lists will include updated resources to leading services from around the globe. Examples include leading IT Monitoring Services, Bootcamps, VPNs, CDNs, Reseller Programs and much more...

  • Plural Site

    Pluralsite

    Pluralsight provides online courses on popular programming languages and developer tools. Other courses cover fields such as IT security best practices, server infrastructure, and virtualization.

  • Isc2

    ISC2

    (ISC)² provides IT training, certifications, and exams that run online, on your premises, or in classrooms. Self-study resources are available. You can also train groups of 10 or more of your employees. If you want a job in cybersecurity, this is the route to take.

  • App Academy

    App Academy

    Immersive software engineering programs. No experience required. Pay $0 until you're hired. Join an online info session to learn more

  • Cybrary

    Cybrary

    CYBRARY Open source Cyber Security learning. Free for everyone, forever. The world's largest cyber security community. Cybrary provides free IT training and paid IT certificates. Courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users are available.