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10-03-12, 02:40 PM
The Federal Trade Commission today announced a broad crackdown on scareware scammers accused of using an ancient technology‚??the telephone‚??to trick thousands of unsuspecting victims into handing over full access to their Windows PCs. By cold-calling victims and claiming to be from companies like Microsoft, Dell, and McAfee, the scammers directed users to a harmless error log on their computers and told them it was a sign of a serious infection, the FTC said. The alleged scammers went on to charge anywhere between $49 and $450 to "fix" the consumers' computers.

At a press conference announcing six lawsuits (http://ftc.gov/opa/2012/10/pecon.shtm) filed in US District Court in New York, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said at least 2,400 people‚??and probably many more‚??were tricked in this manner. The FTC believes such scams have cost consumers tens of millions of dollars worldwide.

Like a bad Bollywood movie

The FTC played a phone call between one of the defendants and a female victim, who was actually a "highly skilled FTC investigator" playing the role of a clueless computer user. The defendant has an Indian accent, but calls were generally spoofed to appear to be coming from US phone numbers.

Read 31 remaining paragraphs (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/hello-im-definitely-not-calling-from-india-can-i-take-control-of-your-pc/) | Comments (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/hello-im-definitely-not-calling-from-india-can-i-take-control-of-your-pc/?comments=1#comments-bar)



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