83 people lost a combined $25,000 in the scam.
An Indian American man from Edison, in New Jersey, has been found involved in an international phone scam. Mohammed Alam, 25, has pleaded guilty of theft of movable property. The scam caused 83 people to lose a total of $25,000.
Alam is guilty of conspiring with parties from a call center in India and using his company, Infusion Micro, LLC, to extract payments from innocent victims.
Alam now faces sentence probation. He will also have to pay the entire $25,000 to his victims when he is sentenced on March 8.
The scam was brought to light when a Massachusetts resident complained that she was being contacted on behalf of Microsoft to fix her computer that she was having issues with. She was being assured of fixing the problem remotely if she were to shell out a fee.
The Massachusetts Police Department then swung into action and uncovered the scam. Police were able to trace the payments that were made to Infusion Micro, a company floated by Alam.
The racket was wide spread, as further investigations revealed that people in states such as Arizona, Colorado, New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina were affected, too.
On Monday, the accused pleaded guilty to the third-degree crime following a plea agreement with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor.
Alam was arrested on June 12 last year and was charged for theft by deception.
The case further highlights the caution people should practice whenever unverified sources demand money for services. One is advised to report all phone scams to federal agencies.
Here are some tips to help you survive phone scams:
You can register your number to National Do Not Call Registry. (However currently this service is unavailable because of the shut down and would be resumed once the shutdown ends.)
Always conduct a thorough research on the company offering its services. Never pay any fee instantly. Give yourself a chance to think and react.
Never answer “yes” if the unknown caller on the other end asks you if you can hear them. Your “yes” can be recorded and used to manipulate your acceptance to some other service.
Scammers can also indulge in spoofing. This happens when the number flashing on your phone is familiar but the person on the other end is someone else. Hang up and report such calls.