Tag Archives: India

Call center fraud

Raids mounted on fake Indian tech support centres

More than 50 people have been arrested in India for their alleged involvement in fake security warning scams.

The New York Times said that Delhi police made the arrests during raids on 26 call centres linked to the scams.

Software giant Microsoft helped police trace who was behind the large-scale operations.

It said it received more than 11,000 calls per month about fake security warnings and that many people lost significant sums to the fraudsters.

“This is an organised crime,” Courtney Gregoire, an assistant general counsel in Microsoft’s digital crimes unit told the US newspaper.

Microsoft has estimated that fraudsters make about $1.5bn (£1.2bn) a year through fake Windows support calls.

Raids on 16 call centres were carried out this week and, earlier in November, another 10 locations were visited by police.

The raids were prompted by Microsoft filing complaints with local police in New Delhi about call centres it claimed were involved in the fraudulent operations.

Typically, said Microsoft, attempts to trick people revolved around pop-up warnings that falsely claimed that a person’s computer was infected with a virus.

Fixing the non-existent virus could involve ringing a tech support centre. An operator would talk a victim through a fake fix and then charge them for the work.

In another version of the scam, staff at call centres claimed to be calling from Windows official support saying they had spotted that a person’s computer has been hacked or harboured a virus. Again, victims were expected to pay to fix the non-existent problem.

Some people caught out by the scam paid up to $1,000 for the fake tech support, said the newspaper.

Microsoft has published advice about ways to spot the fake calls and avoid becoming a victim.


India and South Korea top sources of spam in Asia

India and South Korea were the top Asian sources of global junk mail in the first quarter of the year, while China has pulled itself out of the “dirty dozen” list, a study revealed on Thursday.

The United States remained the number one source of junk, or spam, emails accounting for 13.1 percent of the total sent during the three-month period, the survey by computer security firm Sophos said.

India was number two in the global rankings, accounting for 7.3 percent of junk messages.

Brazil was third with 6.8 percent, followed by South Korea (4.48 percent), Vietnam (3.4 percent) and Germany (3.2 percent).

Rounding up the so-called “dirty dozen” list globally were Britain (3.1 percent), Russia (3.1 percent), Italy (3.1 percent), France (3.0 percent), Romania (2.5 percent) and Poland (2.4 percent).

China came in 15th, with just 1.9 percent of the world’s spam, according to Sophos.

“All eyes aren’t so much on which countries are on the list, but the one which isn’t,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

“China has earned itself a bad reputation in many countries’ eyes for being the launchpad of targeted attacks against foreign companies and government networks,” he said.

“But at least in the last 12 months they can demonstrate that the proportion of spam relayed by their computers has steadily reduced.”

The US, South Korea, Brazil and India together account for over 30 percent of all the spam emails relayed by hacked computers worldwide, added Cluley.

Despite China’s improved rankings, Asia accounted for 33.7 percent of spam sent in the first quarter, larger than Europe’s 31.2 percent, North America’s 16.9 percent and 14.7 percent for Latin America.

Spam accounts for 97 percent of all messages received by business email servers, many of them selling counterfeit or illicit goods, Sophos said.

Virtually all spam comes from malware-infected computers and cause a huge strain on company resources and leads to lost productivity, it added.