How one man is turning the tables on scammers

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NEW YORK (CBS) Robocalls aren't just annoying, more than 40 percent of them are believed to be scams. Microsoft found last year that more than 60 percent of people across 16 countries, including the U.S., were targeted in tech support scams. Now, some people are fighting back.

"You're looking at the webcam of a scammer named Deva," said a man who calls himself Jim Browning.

Browning won't disclose his real name and wouldn't let CBS News show his face.

"I try my best to keep safe," he said.

The people he's after are scammers in India, making robocalls to people they hope will fall for their "computer repair" scheme.

In a YouTube video, Browning connects with the con artists, then plays the victim, listening as the scammers tell him they need access to his computer so they can give him a refund from Microsoft.

"They will typically use the phrase like, 'We are a computer company going out of business. You paid us in the past and we're going to refund your money,'" Browning explained.

Browning lets them into his computer. What the scammers don't realize is he's about to turn the tables by accessing their computers and spying on their operations. Once in, he watches them, listens to them and worms his way into their systems.

Microsoft, too, went after call centers running scams in India, but on a much larger scale, working with and providing intelligence to law enforcement overseas. One of the results-- a bust last November in four cities in India that took down 16 call centers and resulted in 68 arrests.

Reporter Anna Werner: Why is it worth it for Microsoft to even do it?
Courtney Gregoire/Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft's digital crime unit: We think that this type of cyberfraud is really undermining, fundamentally, customer trust in technology.

Meanwhile, Browning found a way to make it a lot harder for this fraud operation to market his scam. He says he quietly replaced the robocall they were sending out with one of his own. It has the same computerized voice with a different message: "This is just a scam so that they can access your computer and will try to get money from your bank account. If you ever get a message like this, it is always a scam."

The man who calls himself Jim Browning does say that breaking into scammers' computers is probably illegal, but he doesn't think they're going to want to go to the authorities to complain about it. Before he posted his YouTube video, he turned over his evidence to the local cyberpolice in India but said he never heard back. CBS News also reached out to them but got no response.