Microsoft Support Scam Leader Pleads Guilty
Remember the Microsoft support scam in which people posing as Microsoft engineers called up a UK customer and then caused issues in their system? The national trading Standards eCrime Team has brought a prominent member of the scam to justice through what many believe is the first prosecution of its kind. Mohammed Khalid Jamil, ringleader of the Microsoft support scam operation, was given a four month suspended sentence along with a hefty fine of £24,000. The fine includes a fine of £5,000 for being a part of the scam, £13,929 in court costs, and the remaining £5,665 as compensation to his victims.
Khalid Jamil, ran the fraudulent operation named Smart Support Guys, who successfully infiltrated many PCs in the U.K. by posing as Microsoft certified support engineers calling from overseas call centers. Unsuspecting victims would give the con men remote access to their computers, which gave them an opportunity to remove anti-virus software and make unwanted and malicious changes in the operating system. After these changes would take effect the PCs would start losing performance and speed, which would then be fixed by “certified support engineers” for a fee ranging between 35 and £150. The same fix is available as a free download from the Microsoft website. Jamil, according to reports by Trading Standards, was successful in duping mostly vulnerable and elderly people off their money by posing his team as Microsoft support engineers.
Microsoft Support Scam Artists Targeted Elderly
Jamil pleaded guilty of the charges but blamed his call center staff, stating he did not supervise them properly. However it was later revealed that this is not the first time he has been involved is something of this nature. Back in 2010 Luton trading standards had given him a warning about a similar case when he ran different company Online PC masters.
Lord Toby Harris, chairman of the National Trading Standards Board stated, “This is a landmark case, as we believe it may be the first ever successful prosecution of someone in the Microsoft scam in the UK.” He added, “Now that one of the many individuals who been operating this scam have been brought to justice, it’s a stark warning to anyone else that they can be caught and prosecuted.”
Microsoft had issued a warning to users earlier about fake security alerts and scams where people would be conned into believing there is something wrong with their systems and allow access to their computers to these individuals.
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