Former engineering student Amit Chauhan set up a bogus technical support call-center company called Tech Support in January 2019. Together with his accomplice and Jind resident Sumit Kumar, Chauhan ran the centre from the upscale Udyog Vihar area of Gurugram, a city just southwest of New Delhi in northern India.
Victims who called up the fake company for technical support were asked to go online and click on a particular pop-up. When they did, malware was activated that stole the victims' financial data.
Chauhan admitted to police that he and Kumar had used the fake company and malicious pop-ups to dupe over 40,000 foreign nationals out of more than more than $ 8 million.
It all came to an end when British victim Jim Browning outed their fake operation on YouTube.
Karn Goyal, assistant commissioner of police for Gurugram's Cyber Crime Cell said Browning uploaded a video complaint on YouTube where he described how he was duped by a call canter employee after he was sent a pop-up on his laptop and offered technical support to remove glitches.
“That pop-up was actually a malware sent by the call centre. The accused took handsome amounts from victims through payment gateway in the name of technical support."
Acting on Browning's tip-off, Gurugram's Cyber Crime Cell raided the premises of Tech Support on March 4. A laptop owned by the accused was found to contain names and addresses of victims.
Under interrogation, Chauhan and Kumar admitted running the fake call-centre since January 2019 as a way to cheat money out of foreigners.
Chauhan and Kumar have been charged under India's IT Act and are currently being held in police remand while further investigation is carried out into their alleged crimes.