Who is making those scam calls?

Every year, millions of people collectively lose billions of dollars to scam callers. A look at how one such caller was tracked down.

Often, a scam starts when the target gets a call offering help in ridding a computer of malware. In other instances, victims are tricked by a pop-up warning that their computer is at risk and they need to call a certain number.
Often, a scam starts when the target gets a call offering help in ridding a computer of malware. In other instances, victims are tricked by a pop-up warning that their computer is at risk and they need to call a certain number.PHOTO: REUTERS

One afternoon in December 2019, Kathleen Langer, an elderly grandmother who lives by herself in Crossville, Tennessee, got a phone call from a person who said he worked in the refund department of her computer manufacturer.

The reason for the call, he explained, was to process a refund the company owed Ms Langer for antivirus and anti-hacking protection that had been sold to her and was now being discontinued.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month
  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2021, with the headline 'Who is making those scam calls?'. Subscribe