Australian authorities have imprisoned an old person from the town of Mackay on charges of laundering funds for the owners of a tech support scam and ransomware distributors.
Based on a press release from Queensland law enforcement office, the so far unnamed 75-year-old suspect had created an alliance with a gang of tech support fraudsters by running a bogus computer help business.
The overseas team worked by giving a call to regional Australian residents and tricking them to believe they were attacked by a virus and that their notebook or desktop computer required fixes. In case victims authorized the fraudsters distant access to their computer devices, law enforcement state, criminals installed ransomware.
If targets wished to pay, hackers might instruct them how to send the money to one of 3 Australian tech companies handled by the 75-year-old suspect. Cops state the man transmitted about 750,000 USD to his international associates.
The person utilized several firms named JC Web Creations, JC Enterprising, ITZ Services to receive ransom money from targets and then redirected funds to the scam operators.
Police authorities found he established the businesses between 2015 and 2017, however they presume he might have been working with the hackers since 2010. Law enforcement carried out a search in April and discovered 22 checks delivered to his mail boxes.
Combining tech support scam and ransomware is a new trend among cyber criminals. Earlier they just lured money from victims by billing them for non-existent computer problems. Now it seems that ransomware may bring more revenue as sums go up substantially.
Anyway, most tech support scams do not last long. Earlier or later, fraudsters get arrested. In this case, we see that mistakes in money laundering schemes let police to catch one of the criminals. Hope the rest of the gang will be arrested soon too.