A call centre trader who misled consumers by claiming to be from Microsoft to carry out computer repairs has today [26 January 2018] been sentenced after pleading guilty to four unfair trading practices. Narendra Harilal Vadgama (age 56 of Babington Road, Barrow upon Soar, LE12 8NH), who traded under the name Internet Security Direct, admitted four charges brought under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Mr Vadgama’s victims were targeted through cold-calling or with computer pop-ups. In many of the cold-calls Mr Vadgama’s company gained the trust of their victims by falsely claiming to be computer technicians from companies like Microsoft. They then claimed that the victim’s computer had been compromised or their routers had been hacked or infected and needed urgent action to stop the victim’s computer or data from being compromised.
Victims were then encouraged to buy computer services they did not need, and paying to have anti-virus software or security software installed that they could get for free directly from Microsoft. Some of the victims were vulnerable people who were duped into giving remote access to their computers, threatening to shut it down until payment was made. Some victims paid as much as £499.99 to Mr Vadgama’s company for unnecessary services, with many paying multiple fees.