The Delhi Police cyber cell have arrested 24 people and busted 10 fake call centres following multiple raids across the city on a complaint by US-based Microsoft alleging that some unidentified persons cheated their customers in India and abroad by posing as members of the company’s technical support team.
Police produced the arrested accused before a duty magistrate on Thursday evening and remanded them to police custody. On Wednesday, an FIR was registered after a complaint was made by Nripendra Kashyap, the authorised representative of Microsoft Corporation in India.
Sources told The Indian Express that after registering the FIR, the Cyber Cell outsourced 70 policemen from several teams of the Special Cell, and conducted raids in Janakpuri, Rohini, Pitampura, Shahdara, Sarita Vihar and other areas till Thursday morning. “Police have arrested 24 persons and also issued notices to several persons, asking them to join the probe. Officials from Microsoft were also present with policemen during the raids, and police have recovered computers and other devices,” an official said.
Kashyap alleged that since 2015, he has received nearly three lakh complaints from customers, who allege they were duped by technical staff on the pretext of providing technical support. “Some unknown persons are duping their customers after posing as the company’s technical support team, business partners or being ‘Microsoft Certified Technicians’. They are providing services after making calls from their call centres, wherein after calling their targets, they make them believe that their personal computers or devices have been affected with a virus,” Kashyap alleged in his complaint.
Kashyap added that the accused gain access to the victims’ computer and load malware or viruses into them. “They also steal personal information and files, which they can further use to harm victims. They are not only causing severe losses to the company…, but are also tarnishing its reputation,” he claimed.
Police said Kashyap, with the help of their technical surveillance, has identified certain companies and also provided contact details to the investigators. “The extent of such surreptitious operations of the unknown accused came to light when Kashyap started receiving thousands of complaints and on an average, he received 12,000 to 14,000 reports pertaining to such illegal activities,” a senior police officer said, adding that the complainant informed that many of the victims are senior citizens.
Explaining their modus operandi, a senior official said that the accused used to send Microsoft-branded pop-ups to the devices of unsuspecting users, saying their systems were virus-infected.