The British Police service in cooperation with Indian police, have shut down two sophisticated criminal call centres in Kolkata, known to have defrauded many thousands of victims in the UK and elsewhere.
The call centres were raided by 50 officers from the Cyber Division of Kolkata Police as part of a worldwide four-year operation conducted by the UK police and Microsoft.
Seven arrests were made and the two fraudulent call centres were put out of business.
“These raids and arrests mark the successful culmination of a four-year operation. Working with Indian authorities and Microsoft, we have stopped a number of criminal call centres from preying on UK citizens,” said Commander Karen Baxter of the City of London Police.
In the 12 months to April 2019, City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau received over 23,500 complaints of this form of fraud, with reported losses of more than 9 million pounds.
The scam involved call centre staff pretending to be from Microsoft and either charging the victims around £200 to fix non existent problems or introducing viruses onto the victim’s computers with the intention of stealing more money.
Hugh Milward, Head of Corporate and Legal Affairs at Microsoft UK, said: “This sort of deception will not go away and effective public/private partnerships are essential if we are to combat sophisticated cyber criminals who operate on a global scale. We are working with law enforcement, here in the UK and internationally, to tackle these crimes and these arrests are a great result for people who have been targeted by or fallen victim to these fraudsters”.
Always beware cold callers and remember that Microsoft, Virgin Broadband, BT and similar companies do not phone anyone to tell them their computer has problems or is dangerous.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-wasters do let me know, by email.