The alleged operators of the ‘Microsoft scam’ calls have been shut down
In a joint international operation between the Australian, Canadian and American authorities, the alleged operators of the ‘Microsoft scam’ calls have been shut down with their bank accounts frozen.
The scam was largely operated out of India. The scam involved a caller pretending to be calling from Microsoft. The caller told the victim that, according to a message sent from the victim’s computer to the Microsoft mainframe, the victim’s computer was infected with a virus. The caller would then offer to fix the virus for the user for free by instructing them to visit a website. The victim was told to download a program which would give the caller full access to the victim’s computer. Alternatively, the caller would ask for the victim’s credit card details to purchase and install an anti-virus program.
It is thought that over 10,000 people worldwide were struck by this cunning scam, which had been in operation since 2009. It took authorities until 2012 to gather enough evidence against the scammers due to the 130 different phone numbers and 80 domain names being used.
As the internet grows in popularity the number of scams increases. It is important to remember never to give out your credit card information by email or over the phone unless you have called the company in question. If someone does ask for your credit card details, ask for their phone number to call them back on after confirming the phone number is that of the company.
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