Version Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life
lecture: A trip to India
Hunting down a criminal call center
We will take you behind the scenes of a call center that placed over 5 million calls to Dutch phone numbers and employed around 60 people. We will show how these call centers operate and how they convince their victims to pay for their ‘services’. You will see the social engineering techniques that are used by the scammers. We will also show that we could easily obtain the list of 5 million potential victims from the call center and how we eventually were able to track down the owner of the call center.
Phone scammers are an ongoing and persistent threat to computer users worldwide. These cyber criminals run professional call centers to contact their victims by phone, claiming they are Microsoft employees and convincing their victims in paying a fee to fix non-existent malware infections or other ‘issues’ the victims computers would have.
Northwave has set out the uncover the identity of some of these criminals. In cooperation with the journalists of the Dutch TV programme AVROTros Opgelicht we were able to get in touch with a few of these criminal call centers and tried to play along with the scammers.
By acting as a potential victim we were able to gain insight in the tactics of these criminals and determine the location of the call center. This journey eventually led us to Calcutta, India where we were able to meet with the owner of the call center.
Together with the journalists at AVROTros we were able to travel to Calcutta, speak to the owner and handed the case over to the police force in India.