Indian police break up international computer virus scam

November 29, 2018
Indian police break up international computer virus scam
Alleged fraudsters are presented before media at a police station in Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, India, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Indian police said Thursday that they have arrested nearly two dozen people on suspicion of defrauding people around the world by sending fake pop-up messages warning them that their computers were infected with a virus and offering to rectify the problem at a price. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Indian police said Thursday they have arrested nearly two dozen people on suspicion of defrauding people around the world by sending fake pop-up messages warning them that their computers were infected with a virus and offering to fix the problem at a price.

Police officer Ajay Pal Sharma said those arrested Tuesday and Wednesday posed as representatives of Microsoft and other companies and used their logos.

The arrests were made after input from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol, Sharma said. Microsoft was the complainant in the case.

He said those arrested have been running the scam out of call centers in the Indian capital and the neighboring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for months.

The pop-up messages prompted victims in the United States, Britain, Australia and other countries to call a phone number shown on their computer screens, he said. They would then be scammed out of money in exchange for supposedly fixing the problem.

Those arrested were mostly people in their 20s and early 30s who quit their jobs in call centers. Police recovered hard drives, servers, laptops, cellphones and computers from them, Sharma said.

In 2016, Mumbai police arrested 70 people for allegedly cheating thousands of Americans. They would call their victims from call centers in Mumbai and tell them that they owed unpaid taxes and should buy prepaid cash cards to settle the debts or face jail.

Indian police break up international computer virus scam
Indian policemen carry seized computer hardware and other items after a press conference at a police station in Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, India, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Indian police said Thursday that they have arrested nearly two dozen people on suspicion of defrauding people around the world by sending fake pop-up messages warning them that their computers were infected with a virus and offering to rectify the problem at a price. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Indian police break up international computer virus scam
Indian policemen escort alleged fraudsters to be presented before media in at a police station in Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, India, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Indian police said Thursday that they have arrested nearly two dozen people on suspicion of defrauding people around the world by sending fake pop-up messages warning them that their computers were infected with a virus and offering to rectify the problem at a price. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

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