Microsoft files complaint alleging cyber fraud by fake call centres in Gurugram
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Microsoft files complaint alleging cyber fraud by fake call centres in Gurugram

According to the complaint, these call centres were allegedly conning unsuspecting people under the garb of providing “technical support” using Microsoft’s name.

gurgaon Updated: Nov 29, 2018 11:18 IST
Pavneet Singh Chadha
Pavneet Singh Chadha
Hindustan Times
Microsoft,fake call centers,Gurugram
Police officials privy to the investigation said multiple raids were conducted at call centres in at least eight locations in Gurugram.(Reuters File )

The police on Wednesday rounded up at least 12 people to investigate a cyber fraud, potentially running into crores of rupees, after software giant Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Limited filed a complaint with the Gurugram Police against at least eight fake call centres in the city.

According to the complaint, these call centres were allegedly conning unsuspecting people under the garb of providing “technical support” using Microsoft’s name.

Police said the accused persons were technically qualified youths from Gurugram and Delhi, who specifically targeted users based in United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Assistant commissioner of police (ACP), crime, Shamsher Singh said three teams from the crime branch were investigating the matter with assistance from the police cyber cell.

“The complainant had conducted an internal investigation after receiving many complaints from victims reporting the scam. More raids are expected in days to come and the police is interrogating suspects to establish the magnitude of the fraud,” Singh said.

Police officials privy to the investigation said multiple raids were conducted at call centres in at least eight locations—Udyog Vihar, Sushant Lok, Sector 49, Sector 18, Sector 32, Sector 38, Sector 44 and Sector 10.

Till the time of filing of this report, two FIRs had been registered.

Modus Operandi

The police said the crime branch team had seized hard disks and computer systems from two fake call centres being run from two separate locations in Sector 18.

Inspector Narendra Chauhan, in-charge of crime team, Sector 17/18, said the accused persons had a database of IP addresses and emails of people in foreign countries and hacked into their computer network or systems.

“The victims would receive an email with fake pop-up error messages stating that a malware had infected their computer systems and if not rectified immediately, their personal and financial data would be compromised. The pop-up messages would be displayed on full screen mode and would lock the users’ screen/browser,” Chauhan said.

The panicked users were then forced to call the hotline numbers mentioned in the pop-up messages for “technical support”.

Police said people working at the fake call centres convinced users into believing that they were associated with Microsoft. They would ask the victims to install a paid applications, which would be “bogus” and give them remote access to users’ computer systems.

The complaint filed by a Microsoft representative on behalf of the company, stated that “by getting remote access to victims’ computers, the accused persons were committing data theft, identity theft and transmitting viruses to their systems”.

Bhupinder Singh Bindra, a representative of Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Limited, who filed the complaint, said, “The police is conducting the probe in the cyber fraud. We have handed over the relevant information from our investigation to the police.”

Police filed two separate cases against two fake call centres in Sector 18 under sections 415 (cheating), 416 (cheating by impersonation), 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the India Penal Code and sections 43, 66 D and 75 of the Information Technology Act at Sector 17/18 police station.

Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Limited is a subsidiary of US-based Microsoft Corporation.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 11:18 IST