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Police arrest Six Indo-Canadian over tech support scam

A total of six persons have been arrested in connection with “a transnational technical support scam that targeted more than 20,000 victims”

Jayant Bhatia, resident of Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), was arrested after Peel Regional Police executed a search warrant at his residence on Wednesday and “seized evidence in relation to a cyber-enabled fraud investigation spanning international borders across two continents,” a release issued on Friday said.

Gagan Lamba, 41, and Harshad Madaan, 34, of New Delhi along with Bhatia, and Vikash Gupta, 33, of Faridabad, were all charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and substantive violations of wire fraud and computer fraud.

Lamba, Madaan, Bhatia, and a fifth defendant, Kulwinder Singh, 34, of Richmond Hill, New York, were also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

A sixth defendant, Meghna Kumar, 50, of Edison, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Wednesday by videoconference before a judge in connection with “engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.”

The defendants were charged with participating in a “high-tech extortion scheme on a global scale.” US Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said, “They frequently preyed upon senior citizens and scared them into paying for unnecessary and useless computer repair services.”

The alleged scam was ongoing for a decade. The “fraud ring generated over $10 million in proceeds from its victims by tricking them “into believing that their personal computers were infected with a virus or malware and then convince the victims to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to the fraud ring for phony computer repair services.”

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