Brampton man charged in $500K international fraud scheme targeting elderly victims

Police have arrested a 34-year-old Brampton man as part of a year-long international fraud scheme that targeted elderly victims across Canada.

Police in Peel Region say between January 2020 and February 2022, a group of individuals operated a technical support scam that tricked victims into believing their personal computers were infected with a virus or malware using pop-up ads on computer screens or spam phone calls. The victims were put in contact with call centre agents who convinced them to give them remote access to their computers and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for unnecessary repairs.

Police say approximately 330 Canadians fell victim to the scheme which netted the fraudsters $500,000.

Jayant Bhatia of Brampton has been charged with unauthorized use of a computer, fraud Over $5000, and possession of property obtained by crime.

Police say the scheme used the following business names – A2Z Consultants Group Inc., QB Services, and SSS Consultants – and operated in Brampton, India and New York/New Jersey. Authorities in India and the United States have laid similar charges against individuals who participated in the fraud scheme.

“As the use of technology continues to evolve, so do the methods employed by online threat actors seeking to exploit unsuspecting individuals,” said Det. Sgt. Matthew Hutchinson with the Peel Region Cyber Support unit. “We remain committed in our efforts to combat computer scams and online fraud, and we encourage the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities.”

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