Microsoft and Amazon join fight to diminish tech support fraud

image of padlock and gold cards on laptop | Microsoft and Amazon

Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces along with international law enforcement in the fight against perpetrators of tech support fraud.

The federal enforcement agency in India, Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) announced that it had conducted multiple criminal raids in various cities across India. This operation was supported by a joint referral made by both Microsoft and Amazon. The joint referral enabled the exchange of intelligence and insights with CBI and other international law enforcement agencies, enabling them to take action at scale.

Tech support fraud is a global and industry-wide problem where criminals operating illegal call centers prey on the vulnerable and defraud thousands of victims every year. According to the FBI, tech/customer support and government impersonation are responsible for over $1bn in losses to victims. The illegal call centers raided by CBI were set up to impersonate Microsoft and Amazon customer support and targeted over 2,000 customers across Amazon and Microsoft.

In a blog, Amy Hogan-Burney, general manager, associate general counsel, cybersecurity policy and protection at Microsoft, said: “This collaboration marks the first time Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces to combat tech support fraud. We firmly believe that partnerships like these are not only necessary but pivotal in creating a safer online ecosystem and in extending our protective reach to a larger number of individuals.

“Technology-enabled fraud remains a persistent threat to both companies as the same cybercriminals and their infrastructure target both our customers. Joining forces helps us more effectively protect individuals globally and prevent criminals from impersonating the Microsoft and Amazon brands to target innocent and unsuspecting victims.

“We understand, however, that criminals will attempt to rebuild their operations and establish new illegal call centers. That is why we, in collaboration with the CBI, Amazon and other international law enforcement agencies, are dedicated to maintaining our vigilance, sharing critical information and working closely with Indian law enforcement agencies and authorities from the victim countries to support their investigations.”

In a LinkedIn post, Dharmesh Mehta, vice president at Amazon, said: “At Amazon, we have zero tolerance for these criminals who pretend to be us, or other trusted entities. Ensuring we hold bad actors accountable is one of the ways we help protect consumers from fraud. We appreciate the partnership from Microsoft and are excited about the impact that this type of industry collaboration in support of law enforcement can have in the fight against cybercrime.”