The fake tech sup­port scam

The Week (US) - - News -

You know those omi­nous-seem­ing warn­ings that pop up on your com­puter screen? ask Vindu Goel and Suhasini Raj in The New

York Times. “Your com­puter has been in­fected with a virus. Call our toll-free num­ber im­me­di­ately for help.” Most peo­ple ig­nore them, but some do call the fake tech-sup­port cen­ter—and 6 per­cent ac­tu­ally pay to “fix” a prob­lem that never ex­isted. They’re usu­ally call­ing In­dia, the “il­licit back­bone” of such fraud. Last week, law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties, work­ing with Mi­crosoft, raided 16 such cen­ters in New Delhi and ar­rested three dozen peo­ple. Last month, there were 10 sim­i­lar raids. Ac­cord­ing to one study, some scam­mers can make up­wards of $10 mil­lion in just two months. The scams are run by well-or­ga­nized groups that share data and even use out­sourced call­ing cen­ters.

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