A U.S. citizen has entered a guilty plea over allegations he created and managed a “tech support scam” involving Microsoft and Google.
ZDNet reports court documents show Bishap Mittal, 24, from North Carolina defrauded over $3 million through a company called Capstone Technologies LLC. Working with anonymous partners, the organization managed various nefarious websites.
Capstone Technologies LLC purchased Google and Bing ads to promote their sites on search engines. Additionally, the company would buy ad popups from adware developers around the world.
This meant users were directed by the Bing and Google ads to the websites where a popup would appear claiming the users’ computer was frozen and infected. Capstone purposely designed the pop-ups to appear like they were created by Microsoft.
Victims would be told to call a support number to solve the fake virus. Capstone Technologies created a high-concept scam as the phone line connected to a call center in New Delhi, India.
Phone operators would use a prepared script to trick users into thinking their PC was experiencing technical problems. They said the machine was running two anti-virus tools that were in conflict. Unwitting users were told to buy tech support for between $200 and $2,400. Needless to say, the support was not needed.
Running between 2014 and 2018, Capstone Technologies was also running under the names MS-Squad Technologies, MS-Squad.com, MS Infotech, Authenza Solutions LLC, and Reventus Technologies.
Mittal was charged by investigators in the United States last week and has pleaded guilty to the charges.