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The US Federal Trade Commission and several other international regulatory authorities today said a global criminal network that scammed thousands of consumers by pretending to be technical support providers has been shut down.

The scam involved phishers who would call a victim pretending to work for Microsoft or Google and would state that they are seeing errors or malware alerts from their system.  After convincing the victim that something is wrong, they would attempt to get remote access to the victim’s computer and lock the user out while attempting to “resolve the issue”.  Victims have reported being charged between $50 – $500 dollars to resolve the issue.  One of SecureState’s employees was recently called by one of these phishers, who attempted to explain that there were several system errors coming from SecureState employees’ systems.  SecureState’s employee then asked for the phisher’s number to call him back.  The phisher then stated the number as 00 – (the number on which he called SecureState’s employee).  The phone call was instantly terminated.

While the FTC has cracked down on several of these scammers, they are still actively exploiting victims.  SecureState wants to remind individuals to always verify that the person calling you is who they say they are and that Microsoft/Google will not actively call home users to report an issue.