Booking.com

Vigilante hacks into Indian criminal call centre’s CCTV to show fraudsters laughing

UK News

A hacker gained access to an Indian call centre’s CCTV footage to reveal the scammers laughing as they fleeced their weeping British victims. 

The cyber vigilante, who uses the alias ‘Jim Browning’, went through hundreds of hours of video footage from the office in Gurugram, near Delhi, and listened to 70,000 phone calls. 

Footage given to the BBC shows a British caller chatting with one of the scammers – who used the name ‘Chris Lawson’ and claimed he was based in San Jose, California.

The victim, who told the scammers he suffered from depression, said he felt ‘sick’ when he was told to hand over £1,295 to have his computer ‘fixed’.

The cyber vigilante, who uses the alias 'Jim Browning', went through hundreds of hours of video footage from the office in Gurugram, near Delhi, and listened to 70,000 phone calls

The cyber vigilante, who uses the alias 'Jim Browning', went through hundreds of hours of video footage from the office in Gurugram, near Delhi, and listened to 70,000 phone calls

The cyber vigilante, who uses the alias ‘Jim Browning’, went through hundreds of hours of video footage from the office in Gurugram, near Delhi, and listened to 70,000 phone calls

The caller says: ‘Oh bloody hell, I’ll have a heart attack.’  

The fraudster says: ‘Hey, why you crying, man? You’re a very good man. Why are you crying?’ 

Footage obtained by the hacker showed the fraudsters laughing at their call centre in India. 

The scam operated through fake pop-up warnings that would appear on computer screens of unsuspecting victims. 

Unsuspecting Brits would then be told to call ‘Microsoft’, but the number provided really directed them to the scam centre, where fraudsters would ask for four-digit payments to ‘repair’ the problem. 

The call centre's boss Amit Chauhan was filmed laughing as he told his team 'we don't give a **** about the customers'

The call centre's boss Amit Chauhan was filmed laughing as he told his team 'we don't give a **** about the customers'

The call centre’s boss Amit Chauhan was filmed laughing as he told his team ‘we don’t give a **** about the customers’

The cyber vigilante, who uses the alias 'Jim Browning' (pictured left), gave the footage he uncovered to BBC's Panorama

The cyber vigilante, who uses the alias 'Jim Browning' (pictured left), gave the footage he uncovered to BBC's Panorama

The cyber vigilante, who uses the alias ‘Jim Browning’ (pictured left), gave the footage he uncovered to BBC’s Panorama

The call centre’s boss Amit Chauhan was filmed laughing as he told his team ‘we don’t give a **** about the customers’.

Jim Browning, who hacked into the CCTV cameras in May 2019, called in himself, asking if the person on the other end is in the UK.

How the scam works 

Pop-up warnings that appeared on the computers of unsuspecting British victims would tell them to call ‘Microsoft’ to repair their computer.

The phone number provided has nothing to do with the tech giant – and instead directs calls to fraudsters based in Gurugram, near Delhi.

After building a rapport with the callers, the scammer would tell them that in order to fix their device, money would have to be transferred. 

The fraudster responds saying he is located in San Jose.

‘Jim’ asks him: ‘Can you name me one restaurant in San Jose?’

‘What kind of question is that, sir?’ the scammer responds, telling the vigilante to ‘book your ticket to California and you will find me’.

‘Jim’ pokes fun at the scammer who then starts using Google to search for an answer to the question.  

The evidence of the scam was handed to BBC’s Panorama, where victims revealed their stories of being ripped off by the call centre fraudsters. 

Dave Matika told the programme how the scammers told him nine people had been using his identity to watch child abuse content, which ‘scared the life’ out of him. 

Speaking about person who defrauded him, Mr Matika said: ‘I could strangle the geezer, I really could.’

Dave Matika, speaking about person who defrauded him, said: - 'I could strangle the geezer, I really could'

Dave Matika, speaking about person who defrauded him, said: - 'I could strangle the geezer, I really could'

Dave Matika, speaking about person who defrauded him, said: – ‘I could strangle the geezer, I really could’

Pauline Nicholls said: 'I feel angry. Angry and upset. Angry that someone could do that knowing that there's nothing wrong with the computer, just to extort money from you - and upset with myself that I fell for it'

Pauline Nicholls said: 'I feel angry. Angry and upset. Angry that someone could do that knowing that there's nothing wrong with the computer, just to extort money from you - and upset with myself that I fell for it'

Pauline Nicholls said: ‘I feel angry. Angry and upset. Angry that someone could do that knowing that there’s nothing wrong with the computer, just to extort money from you – and upset with myself that I fell for it’

'Jim' phoned the call centre and asked the fraudster if he could name one restaurant in San Jose - where he claimed to be - and poked fun at him when he then starts using Google to search for an answer to the question

'Jim' phoned the call centre and asked the fraudster if he could name one restaurant in San Jose - where he claimed to be - and poked fun at him when he then starts using Google to search for an answer to the question

‘Jim’ phoned the call centre and asked the fraudster if he could name one restaurant in San Jose – where he claimed to be – and poked fun at him when he then starts using Google to search for an answer to the question

Pauline Nicholls was asked by the scammers if she had been looking at pornographic material which might have infected the computer, and she responded saying that she had only used it to look for pet insurance.  

She said: ‘I feel angry. Angry and upset. Angry that someone could do that knowing that there’s nothing wrong with the computer, just to extort money from you – and upset with myself that I fell for it.’

‘Jim’ said that he does not attempt to gain access to someone’s computer unless they try to scam him first.

He said that once fraudsters’ base of operations are discovered, they will often simply change buildings and continue as before. 

DailyMail Online


Leave a Reply