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India crack down on Tech Support Scams: Amazon and Microsoft Joins With CBI.

Amazon, Microsoft, and India’s federal law enforcement agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), have all declared a significant crackdown on tech support fraud.

The CBI describes two incidents where scammers pretended to be customer care representatives for two “well-known multi-national companies” (Amazon and Microsoft) through pop-ups that “falsely appeared to be security alerts” from the organizations.

Through their plan, the con artists would trick people into calling a toll-free number to one of their call centers, remotely take control of a user’s computer, convince users of the “pretense of non-existing problems,” and “make them pay hundreds of dollars for unnecessary services” while posing as representatives of Amazon and Microsoft.

On its website, Microsoft describes the most common iterations of these scams, how to spot them, and what to do if you think you’ve been a victim.

As part of the investigation, “the CBI conducted intensive searches in five separate cases at 76 locations across multiple states,” according to the CBI’s report. Following Operation Chakra-II, 32 mobile phones, 48 computers and hard drives, copies of two servers, 33 SIM cards, and pen drives were seized, and many bank accounts were frozen. Additionally, the CBI obtained a dump of 15 email addresses, shedding light on the complex web of deceit the accused woven.

According to a blog post by Amazon, the illegal call centers affected more than 2,000 Amazon and Microsoft customers, mostly in the US but also in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, and the UK.

According to a blog post by Microsoft’s Amy Hogan-Burney, “this collaboration marks the first time Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces to combat tech support fraud.” “We firmly believe that partnerships like these are not only essential but crucial in establishing a safer online ecosystem and expanding our protective reach to more people,” they said.

In order to help lead the charge, Amazon announced the Counterfeit Crimes Unit in 2020. Amazon has also invested significant resources in the fight against fake goods on its store. Additionally, Microsoft works with its Digital Crimes Unit to combat online criminality.

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