A 24-year-old Charlotte man admitted he helped dupe hundreds of U.S. residents into paying money to clean non-existent malware from their suddenly frozen computers, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Bishap Mittal, 24, admitted in U.S. District Court in Charlotte to being part of a “tech support scam” that placed pop-up ads on victims’ computers that froze their screens. Mittal pled guilty to conspiracy to access a protected computer and faces up to five years in prison.
When victims called a number in the ad for help, scammers at a call center in India “used remote access tools to gain control of the victims’ computers,” according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.
Callers were told their computers had malware or viruses. They paid $200 to $2,400 to get rid of the problem.
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Mittal and unnamed co-conspirators defrauded victims out of at least $3 million, court records show. Mittal is free pending his sentencing, which has not been set.