We already know that scammers use a variety of unsavory tactics when trying to take advantage of consumers; from impersonating federal agents to threatening jail time. But an alleged fraudster of the so-called “Microsoft Tech Support” scam took things to a decidedly nastier level when his hustle began to unravel.
CBC News reports that a British Columbia resident was on the receiving end of colorful and unpleasant threats when he called out a purported scammer for his unscrupulous ways.
The man says that he decided to take matters into his own hands when he received a call from a man who claimed to be calling from California to offer Microsoft tech support.
The alleged fraudster wanted the man to grant him remote access to a computer so he could demonstrate how corrupt the device was and install software to fix the issue.
“It became pretty obvious from the start that this was a scammer… a lot of red flags went up,” the man tells CBC News. “He kind of mumbled his last name, sort of mumbled the business name. It was obviously not a legitimate call.”
While the would-be victim at first played along and recorded the call, he eventually questioned the caller’s intentions, asking why the man would try to steal from unsuspecting people.
At that point things began to take a foul turn. The caller got angry and admitted he was in India.
“And then he said, ‘If you come to India, you know what we do to Anglo people?”,” the man tells CBC News. “I said, ‘No.’ and he said, ‘We cut them up in little pieces and throw them in the river.'”
The man says that the caller, who knew the man’s address and full name, then threatened to send someone to his home to kill him.
“He was still trying to get me to do what he was trying to do with my computer,” the man says. “He was actually threatening me as a tactic.”
Threats and intimidation tactics certainly aren’t limited to Canada. American regulators routinely bring charges against scammers using the unsavory strategies to pry money from unsuspecting consumers.
In recent months, there have been several reports of schemers claiming they would hurt or kidnap consumers’ loved ones if they didn’t repay purported debts. In many cases, the consumers would be instructed to purchase pre-paid cards worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and send them to the scammer to ensure their loved ones safety.
As for tech support scams similar to what the Canadian man encountered, the Federal Trade Commission has been cracking down on those, too.
Last October, the FTC shut down a New York-based support scam operation that allegedly tricked older consumers into paying nearly $2.5 million for technical support services they didn’t need and for software that was actually available for free. The company often cold-called consumers selling services and support while pretending to be representatives for Microsoft or Facebook.