India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has conducted raids on 76 locations across the country as part of Operation Chakra-II, a crackdown on cybercrime operations involving tech support scams and cryptocurrency fraud. The operation is a collaborative effort involving international law enforcement agencies and tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon, working alongside the Indian federal enforcement agency.
During the raids, the CBI confiscated mobile phones, laptops, hard disks, SIM cards, froze bank accounts, and seized emails connected to the alleged scam operations. Operation Chakra-II revealed two long-running tech support scam operations that impersonated customer support agents from prominent multinational companies. These operations targeted over 2,000 customers primarily based in the US, Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain, and the UK. The scammers used fraudulent pop-up messages and toll-free numbers to deceive victims and make them pay for unnecessary services.
Tech support scams have been among the top reported cybercrimes, resulting in significant financial losses for victims. The CBI also uncovered a cryptocurrency fraud ring associated with a fake crypto-mining operation. The scammers lured Indian investors with promises of high profits from investments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They collected payments from unsuspecting individuals and used a network of accounts and shell companies to move the funds.
The operation has been reported to international law enforcement agencies for further action. Both Microsoft and Amazon have been actively collaborating with law enforcement to combat tech support fraud, taking down thousands of fraudulent websites and phone numbers and referring bad actors to authorities.