Internet scammers have raised $ 3 million by posing as Microsoft tech support (Topic)

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Internet scammers have raised $ 3 million by posing as Microsoft tech support


Another Internet fraud scheme uncovered in the US. This time she was associated with the big name of a well-known corporation. Introducing themselves as Microsoft technical support, an attacker from North Carolina and his accomplice were able to "convince" the user to purchase absolutely unnecessary services. For 4 years of their activity, they were able to enrich themselves by several million dollars.

Fraudsters acted as follows. They created several of their own sites, which were managed by a specially created for this, again their own company. "Entrepreneurs" promoted their resources in the search results, and also acquired the right to access pop-up advertisements offering software.

When a US user visited one of the sites or opened adware on his PC, a warning window appeared, which blocked the browser with a message that a virus was found on the device. At the same time, the appearance of the alert windows was similar to the Microsoft service messages. The text indicated a fake Microsoft support phone number that could be called to solve the problem with the malware. During the call, the deceived user ended up in an Indian call center, where "specially trained people" told a pre-prepared legend that the computer had problems due to two conflicting antiviruses.

To completely get rid of the problem, Microsoft's alleged technical support offered to resolve the issue by purchasing technical support services. Their cost ranged from $ 200 to $ 2.4 thousand, although in reality they were absolutely unnecessary. This scheme was carried out by scammers from 2014 to 2018.


Fake tech support sites run by Internet scammers are now one of the global problems for Silicon Valley IT companies, not least for the giant Microsoft. The Corporation works hard with local and Indian government agencies to eliminate such resources. In its official blog, the company cited data for 2017 with user complaints, which were now considered by the real technical support of Microsoft.

There were a quarter more victims of such schemes that year than in the previous 2016. Moreover, their coverage was 183 states. Approximately 15% of users who received such a message fell for the bait, paying several hundred bucks for non-existent services. There were cases when they lost large sums. For example, one of these cases occurred in the Netherlands, where a resident of the country lost several tens of thousands of euros.


Attackers often use full-screen pop-up windows, fake websites, fake antiviruses that have detected imaginary errors. To lure into their resources, they have several types of techniques in their arsenal, including advertising banners, links to email addresses, and operations with search results. Also, the strategy of ordinary "cold" calls is often used to everyone with an offer to purchase a vital user, but in fact non-existent technical product or service. A large number of scammers use call centers in India. For example, after an official request from Microsoft late last year, Indian security forces carried out special raids on several similar centers.

The Topic of Article: Internet scammers have raised $ 3 million by posing as Microsoft tech support.
Author: Jake Pinkman