An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Two individuals were arrested this week in connection with a fraud scheme that manipulated thousands of victims into paying for invented tech services that they didn’t need. The Department of Justice announced that the two individuals Romana Leyva, 35, and Ariful Haque, 33, were arrested Wednesday for their alleged participation in the fraud scheme, which involved convincing victims — many of whom were elderly — in both the U.S. and Canada that they needed tech and virus protection services that were neither real nor required.
Between March 2015 and December 2018, both Ariful and Haque were allegedly involved with the fraud ring responsible for the crimes. According to an unsealed indictment, the scheme involved targeting victims with pop-up windows — sometimes under the guise of being a legitimate tech company — that claimed their computer had been infected with a virus and directed them to call a number for technical support. In some cases, the message threatened that if the individual closed the window or shut down their computer, it would either bork their device or result in a “complete data loss.” Once users contacted the number, they were connected with a fake technician. To convince victims to hand over money, after receiving “permission” from the victim, the fraud ring allegedly remotely accessed the individual’s computer, loaded an anti-virus tool that’s available for free online, and informed the individual that their computer was infected with a virus (which, again, was a lie). The DOJ says the scheme was able to successfully scam “at least” 7,500 victims out of a combined $10 million.
Both of the individuals arrested are charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
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Source: Slashdot – Two Arrested In Million Tech Support Scam That Preyed On the Elderly