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Indian Citizen Pleads Guilty to Participating in US Malware Protection Scam India News


WASHINGTON (AP) – A 33-year-old Indian man pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of participating in a computer protection services scam that defrauded Americans, many of them seniors, by telling them malware had been detected. on their computers.
Himanshu Asri, who is from New Delhi, admitted to a federal judge in Providence that he defrauded people by telling victims that malware had been detected on their computers and, based on that falsehood, induced them to direct money towards him and his accomplices. as payment for alleged computer protection services that were not necessary or never provided.
The conspirators, in fact, did not detect malware on the victims’ computers and accepted the payment without providing any protection services, federal prosecutors said.
In his plea, Asri admitted that he had sent 325 callers to call centers in India, where call center operators falsely reaffirmed to victims that malware had been detected on their computers, and offered victims alleged computer protection services in exchange for a payment.
The purpose of the false claims was to induce people to send money to scammers.
Between January 2015 and January 2020, Asri and others who worked together raised, in total, approximately $ 940,995 from victims through their fraud, and attempted to raise between $ 5 million and $ 3 million.
The actual loss was less than anticipated because some of those who were targeted by Asri and his accomplices failed to send funds to the fraudsters, the Justice Department said.
Asri is the fourth India-based telemarketing scammer to be convicted in federal court in Rhode Island in the past three months. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 18, 2021.
The wire fraud conspiracy carries legal penalties of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of US $ 250,000.

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