Four people have been arrested in the UK following an ongoing two year investigation by the City of London Police and Microsoft looking into software fraud.
The investigation has been focused on finding scammers who pretended to be from Microsoft, in which they call people and inform them that there is an issue with their PCs and offer to repair them for a fee.
Those arrested include a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman from Surrey, who were both arrested in suspicion of fraud. Both have been released on bail. A 37-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman were also arrested and have been released pending further inquiries, according to BBC.
Both Microsoft and the City of London Police discovered that 3,504 computer software service fraud reports were made to Action Fraud for the financial year of 2016/17.
After getting hold of vulnerable people, the scammers would demand a fee to fix the supposed issue or convince the victim to share their bank account details. According to Action Fraud, the average age of victims is 62, who pay around £600 to the scammers.
Microsoft and City of London Police have doubled down to stop this ongoing issue and in light of the recent arrests have also released an online post on how to avoid technical support scams.
In the post, Microsoft said: “Remember, Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication we have with you must be initiated by you.”
Frauds such as this are ongoing and it is advised that people are careful when receiving such calls to protect themselves from scam incidents.
Hugh Milward, Director of Cooperate, External and Legal Affairs, Microsoft said: “Realising that you’ve fallen victim to a scam is a horrible experience for anyone. Not just the loss of money but also the feeling that you’ve been tricked and that your personal information has been stolen.”