So I was heartened to read that we're not the only country targeted for such scams and that some scammers have actually been caught. The U.K. finally nabbed one of those reprobates, but he's only facing a small fine and suspended jail sentence. Which means the scumbag will probably be at it again in no time.
Mohammed Khalid Jamil ran a gang that managed to turn over £1million a year by phoning people at home and convincing them that their computers had a virus which urgently needed tackling.It won't be a deterrent, since Jamil continued his operation in spite of numerous warnings over the years. He just changed the name of his business. And what he will owe as restitution, the paltry sum of:
Despite using cold callers in India and operating out of Dubai “for tax reasons”, the crook was caught when experts in online crime followed the money trail to companies he’d set up in the UK.
Now the 34-year-old, who also lives in Luton, Beds, has been given a suspended jail sentence after being nailed by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team.
“This is a landmark case, as we believe it may be the first ever successful prosecution of someone involved in the Microsoft scam in the UK,” said Lord Toby Harris, chairman of the National Trading Standards Board.
“It’s an important turning point for UK consumers who have been plagued by this scam, or variants of it, for several years.
“Many have succumbed to it, parting with significant sums of money, their computers have been compromised and their personal details have been put at risk.
“Now that one of the many individuals who’ve been operating this scam has been brought to justice, it’s a stark warning to anyone else still doing it, that they can be caught and will be prosecuted.”
a fine of £5,000, costs of £13,929 and compensation of £5,665.
Jamil's gang - Smart Support Guys- would apparently call people and tell them that they had a nasty virus, remotely take control of the victim's computer, install free anti-virus software, and then charge them anywhere from £30 and £150. But it's not just parting with your money for something you didn't need in the first place that's troubling, it's the fact that they can upload malicious software that can compromise your personal information. When I finally figured out what was going on, my fear was that they had actually uploaded a virus. I immediately ran a series of different A.V. scans and thankfully it came up clean.
Other scammers have said they were from: Windows Helpdesk, Windows Service Center or Microsoft Support. I've had calls from all of them.