PROVIDENCE (Rhode Island, U.S.): An Indian national appeared on Monday before a U.S. District Court Judge in Providence, RI, admitted to participating in a “Tech Support” telemarketing scam based in India, in which call center operators falsely represented themselves to be associated with Microsoft Corporation, falsely represented to victims that malware or viruses had been detected on their computers, and offered supposed services to remove the malware.
During the scam, members of the conspiracy gained access to the victims’ online banking user names and passwords. Using that information, funds were taken from the victim accounts.
Abrar Anjum, 34, admitted to the court that he allowed members of the conspiracy to use bank accounts under his control in the United States to receive funds taken from victim accounts. Anjum admitted that in return for allowing members of the conspiracy to deposit fraudulently obtained funds into his bank accounts, he was allowed to keep a portion of the funds. He transferred the remaining funds to his co-conspirators in India.
According to court documents, the “Tech Support” scheme operated out of call centers in India.
Anjum was arrested by FBI agents on February 3, 2020, prior to his boarding a flight to India from JFK Airport, and was arraigned the next day in U.S. District Court in Providence.
Appearing on Monday before U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Anjum, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.
Anjum, who remains detained in federal custody, is scheduled to be sentenced on October 21, 2020.
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years in federal prison, three years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.
The FBI investigation is continuing.