Microsoft, Amazon, and international law enforcement have come together to send a strong message to perpetrators of tech support fraud: There will be consequences for their actions.
On Thursday, October 19, Central Bureau Investigation (CBI), the federal enforcement agency in India, announced it has conducted multiple criminal raids in various cities across India. This operation was supported by a joint referral made by Microsoft and Amazon. The joint referral enabled the exchange of actionable intelligence and insights with CBI and other international law enforcement agencies to help them take action at scale.
Tech support fraud is a costly and industry-wide problem. Criminals operating illegal call centers prey on the vulnerable and defraud thousands of victims each year. According to the FBI, tech/customer support and government impersonation are responsible for over $1 billion in losses to victims. The illegal call centers raided by CBI were set up to impersonate Microsoft and Amazon customer support. They targeted over 2,000 customers across Amazon and Microsoft primarily based in the U.S., but also in Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain, and the UK. We thank CBI for taking such swift action.
We remain committed to working together to go after criminals
This collaboration marks the first time Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces to combat tech support fraud. We firmly believe that partnerships like these are not only necessary but pivotal in creating a safer online ecosystem and in extending our protective reach to a larger number of individuals. Technology-enabled fraud remains a persistent threat to both companies as the same cybercriminals and their infrastructure targets both our customers. Joining forces helps us more effectively protect individuals globally and prevent criminals from impersonating the Microsoft and Amazon brands to target innocent and unsuspecting victims.
We understand, however, that criminals will attempt to rebuild their operations and establish new illegal call centers. That is why we, in collaboration with the CBI, Amazon, and other international law enforcement agencies, are dedicated to maintaining our vigilance, sharing critical information and working closely with Indian law enforcement agencies and authorities from the victim countries to support their investigations.
As cybercriminals evolve their tactics, Microsoft continues to evolve our ways to combat them. That includes partnering with others in the tech sector to share information and resources. We are proud of our long-standing collaboration with law enforcement to combat Tech Support Fraud, which has resulted in 30-plus call center raids and 100-plus arrests to date. We invite others across the industry to join us in this united front against criminal activity.
Remaining vigilant to suspicious activity online
Microsoft is committed to providing a safe digital experience for every person and organization on the planet. Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) works to combat tech support scams by investigating tech support fraud networks and referring cases to law enforcement as appropriate, strengthening our products and services to better protect consumers from various fraudulent tactics, and educating consumers about this type of fraud by providing guidance and resources on how to identify, avoid, and report them.
Importantly, Microsoft will never send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to provide technical support to fix your computer. Any communication with Microsoft must be initiated by you. Always treat all unsolicited messages with skepticism and do not provide any personal information.
If you have been contacted by someone claiming to be from, or associated with, Microsoft and believe it was a scam, report the incident via our online reporting tool: microsoft.com/reportascam. Doing so assists us with our ongoing investigations with law enforcement as we take appropriate action against those targeting our customers. We also use these insights to strengthen our technology to better protect consumers from fraudulent tactics.
For more information on how individuals can protect themselves, please visit: Protect yourself from tech support scams (microsoft.com).
For more information on how Amazon helps protect consumers from impersonation scams, please visit https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/policy-news-views/amazon-microsoft-protect-against-impersonation-scams