Charlotte Man Pleads Guilty To $3 Million Tech Support Scheme
A Charlotte man pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in a tech support scam that defrauded hundreds of victims — including many seniors — of more than $3 million.
According to a Department of Justice release sent out Wednesday, 24-year-old Bishap Mittal pleaded guilty to being part of a conspiracy that placed fake pop-up ads on people's computers to convince them that they had a serious computer problem. The scam then convinced people to pay for a made up technical support service to resolve the issue.
Mittal ran this scam with another Charlotte resident, the Justice Department said. The other individual owned and managed a tech support business called Capstone Technologies LLC that served as a front for their scam. Mittal and others carried out the scam using a call center located in India.
According to the justice department, the scammers purchased blocks of malicious pop-up adware that would appear on people's computers and freeze their screens. People would then be prompted to contact Capstone Technologies, where Mittal and other co-conspirators would make up possible causes of the fake malfunction — like the presence of malware or computer viruses. The scammers would then convince victims to pay between $200 and $2,400 for virus clean-ups or other made up tech support services.
Capstone conducted the same scam under several other aliases, including Authenza Solutions LLC, MS-Squad Technologies, MS-Squad.com, MS Infotech, United Technologies and Reventus Technologies, the Justice Department said.
Mittal has been released on bond, but a sentencing date has not been set. The names of the other co-conspirators and the owner of Capstone technology have not been released.
The FBI conducted the investigation as part of U.S. Attorney of the Western District of North Carolina Andrew Murray's Elder Justice Initiative that investigates and prosecutes financial scams targeting seniors.
Copyright 2019 WFAE