Four people have been arrested in the UK following an investigation into scams involving calls from fraudsters pretending to be IT support staff.
It follows two years of work by City of London Police and Microsoft, who teamed up to tackle the problem.
The perpetrators commonly pretend to be phoning on behalf of the US company.
The inquiry indicated that many of the calls originated in India but two men and two women in England have been accused of involvement.
The £20 million Loss From Fix Scams
For the financial year 2016/17, there were 34,504 computer software service fraud reports made to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber reporting centre, with attributed losses of £20,698,859.
This accounts for 12% of all reports to Action Fraud, making it the third most reported fraud type. The average loss suffered by victims is £600 and the average age of victims is 62. Despite these losses, the number of victims is thought to be much higher as analysis shows many fail to report.
What IS A Fix Scam?
The scammers usually declare that they have detected a fault with their target's PC and fool victims into giving them remote access to it. They then often install images that appear to show the computer is infected or install malware themselves.
Finally, they demand a fee to fix the issue or otherwise convince the victim to share their bank account details.
If You Are Affected By This Scam
Report any successful or attempted scam of any kind, including fix scams, to Action Fraud.
If you would like support as a result of becoming a victim of any crime, contact Victim Support on 01926 682 693.