From the BBC website. Full article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26818745.
A man who ran a Microsoft computer scam tricking people into paying for free anti-virus software has received a suspended four-month jail sentence. Mohammed Khalid Jamil, 34, from Luton, hired people at an Indian call centre to falsely tell victims their computers had a serious problem.
The targets would be charged between £35 and £150 for software Microsoft made available for free. As well as the suspended sentence, Jamil was ordered to pay a £5,000 fine.
He must also pay £5,665 compensation and £13,929 in prosecution costs. The decision has been hailed as a “landmark” case by Trading Standards.
I must declare an interest here. My elderly Mum has been scammed like this only last year. Clearly I was somewhat embarrassed and upset as I am in the “industry”. She parted with about 70 quid to someone telling her that her laptop was “infected”. The caller was from overseas and unfortunately she got so scared that she paid up straight away. Then told me about it.
In a very recent similar manner she received a scam email telling her “not to forward the email or the NSA would be suing”. Again she became quite distressed by this, but fortunately she called me about it and read it out down the phone. The email was frankly bullying and obviously wanted money from her. But the difference was the implied threat from the NSA that they would be interested in her online activity. I talked her down of course, but she was fairly scared by both of these episodes.
I think the UK Government should try to reach agreements with all countries about enforcement of action against these criminals. Freezing of assets, criminal prosecutions and no hiding behind geographical barriers is needed. We know where they are, we probably know who they are. So why not sort them out? This sort of activity is damaging the reputation of the Internet, particularly with our silver surfers, ones who we should be over protecting methinks.