Indian American Manoj Yadav faces wire fraud charges for a technical support scam that victimized over 7,000 individuals, defrauding them of $13 million. Yadav deceived victims into believing they were dealing with a legitimate tech support company affiliated with a major IT firm. The FBI underscores the seriousness of this issue as it has a potential 20-year prison term and hefty fines. FBI highlighted the fact that tech support scam threat has increased hugely. Check out the key highlights of the case as revealed by PTI.
Yadav has been arrested in New Jersey, USA, on charges related to a technical support scam.
- The scam targeted more than 7,000 victims and defrauded them of over USD 13 million.
- Yadav appeared before US Magistrate Judge Jose R. Almonte in Newark federal court and has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
- The scam involved misleading victims into believing they were dealing with a legitimate technology support company affiliated with a major software company.
- The scammers claimed to provide technical support for software issues and then charged victims exorbitant fees for unauthorized support services.
- FBI Special Agent in Charge James E Dennehy stated that Yadav deceived software users into paying for services that are free from the software company.
- The charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of USD 2,50,000.
- Tech support scams are on the rise, with fraudsters becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods.
- Yadav and his co-conspirators, many of whom were located in India, posed as a technology support company affiliated with a major US business and accounting software company.
- The scammers operated under various fraudulent business names and used deceptive tactics to extract money from victims, ultimately funneling millions of dollars to their co-conspirators.
Safeguarding yourself from scams like these is very important. Here are five crucial steps to keep in mind:
1. Stay Vigilant: Verify, verify, verify. Do not take it for granted that the person at the end of the phone line you are speaking to is a company executive. Always verify their claims. Ultimately, your actions to avoid these scams will decide whether you fall victim or not.
2. Never Click Unknown Links: If you receive unexpected emails or messages that seem unusual, be cautious. Approach them skeptically. Avoid clicking on links from sources you don’t know. These could lead you to potentially harmful websites or downloads and also uninstall any applications that scammers have asked you to install immediately.
3. Safeguard Personal Data: Never give crucial information to unknown callers, especially if they’re asking for it over the phone or through texts.
4. Confirm Requests: Always verify requests, especially if they involve sensitive actions or information. If you’re unsure, reach out to the organization or person directly through trustworthy means to confirm the legitimacy of the request.
5. Act Quickly: If you suspect a scam or phishing attempt, act fast. Apply all security updates as soon as they are available, change your passwords.
Staying safe from such scams requires you to exercise all caution. By incorporating these steps, you can minimize the chances of falling prey to online scams.