Today, the Federal Trade Commission and the state of Florida have obtained federal court orders for a list of companies allegedly selling fraudulent computer software and tech support services, according to a release.
The court order will take two separate scam operations temporarily offline.
The two operations are said to have collected as much as $120 million in fraudulent sales from tens of thousands of customers. Starting in 2012, the defendants used software to convince consumers that there were problems with their computers, according to the FTC. Then the defendants allegedly continued to talk consumers into buying unneeded tech products and services to remedy their fake computer problems.
“These operations prey on consumers’ lack of technical knowledge with deceptive pitches and high-pressure tactics to sell useless software and services to the tune of millions of dollars,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a released statement.
It’s a simple enough con: The offenders convinced consumers to download free computer-enhancing software. The downloaded software then scanned users computers and inevitably surfaced fake problems that required expensive services to eradicate the issue.
Users were directed to download new software for a price of $29-$49 and to call a tech support technician to activate that software. The toll free number consumers were given reportedly connected them to a sales associate, who proceeded to sell them as much as $500 worth of software and services they didn’t need, according to the FTC’s complaint.
Senior citizens were largely the targets of these crimes.
In the first case the telemarketing companies involved include Inbound Call Experts LLC; Advanced Tech Supportco. LLC; PC Vitalware LLC; Super PC Support LLC; Robert D. Deignan, Paul M. Herdsman, and Justin M. Wright. Supposedly these companies were pushing bogus software from PC Cleaner Inc.; Netcom3 Global Inc.; Netcom3 Inc.; Netcom3 Software Inc.; and Cashier Myricks, Jr.
The second case involves defendants Boost Software Inc. and Amit Mehta. The telemarketing defendants include Vast Tech Support LLC, OMG Tech Help, OMG Total Protection, OMG Back Up, downloadsoftware.com, and softwaresupport.com; OMG Tech Help LLC; Success Capital LLC; Jon Paul Holdings LLC; Elliot Loewenstern; Jon-Paul Vasta; and Mark Donahue.
In addition to shutting down the operations, the court order places control of the businesses under a court-appointed receiver and freezes all the defendants’ assets.
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