Six arrested after Microsoft tips off police on fake software
Six people were arrested in Humberside over the weekend on suspicion of selling fake Microsoft product keys and software online.
The City of London Police’s intellectual property crime unit (PIPCU) said it picked up the alleged scammers after a tip-off from Microsoft.
The arrests were part of a wider operation where criminals sell fake product keys, Windows installation discs and key cards through multiple accounts on an “online selling platform”.
PIPCU and the Humberside Police arrested a 40-year-old woman and two men in their twenties at their home in Barton-upon-Humber on Friday, seizing a number of counterfeit items.
A few hours later, they arrested two men aged 70 and 38, and a 66-year-old woman, at a second unspecified address. The woman was subsequently released from bail.
The remaining five suspects were questioned and released on bail. All in all, the counterfeit products were estimated to be worth more than £100,000.
“Cybercrime can take many forms – ranging from manufacturing and selling counterfeit software, to stealing money, personal information and even identities from people’s computers using malware,” said Abrahim Bakhtiar, an attorney at Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU).
“Microsoft works closely with many law enforcement agencies such as PIPCU and Trading Standards to ensure criminal actions are pursued,” he added. “This investigation is a real testament to PIPCU’s and Microsoft DCU’s resolve when it comes to stamping out cybercrime and we applaud the swift action PIPCU and Humberside Police have undertaken in relation to this case.”