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The US Federal Trade Commission has carried out a huge international crackdown on a number of "tech support" scams being run out of India which have conned people in the UK, US, Canada and elsewhere out of millions of pounds since 2008.
As explained by the Guardian in 2010, the scams used "boiler room" tactics, dialling through phone books for English-speaking countries. People who answered the phone were told the call came from Microsoft or their internet service provider, and that the person's computer was "reporting viruses". The caller would then perform an unnecessary "fix" on the computer and charge the person for it – and sometimes sign them up to multi-year "support" contracts. The cost could run to hundreds of pounds.
U.S. F.T.C. Moves To Stamp Out Tech Support Scams [guardian.co.uk]
At the FTC's request in six cases, a federal district judge froze the US assets of 17 people and 14 companies that have been accused of taking part in the operations. The FTC has also shut down 80 internet domain names and 130 phone numbers used in the US to carry out the scams.