FTC shuts down phony tech support firms that conned $120 million from customers
The Federal Trade Commission was recently granted a court order to shut down two telemarketing operations responsible for running what's being described as massive tech support scams.
According to the FTC, it starts innocently enough when a consumer downloads a free trial version of security software designed to scan and detect errors. Naturally, the software finds loads of 'errors' regardless of whether or not the system actually has any problems.
In order to fix the errors, the user is prompted to purchase the 'full' version of the software which can cost anywhere between $29 and $49. After doing so, victims are then instructed to call a toll-free number to 'activate' the software.
They are instead connected to telemarketers that use deceptive scare tactics to deceive them into shelling out even more money for further unneeded support to the tune of up to $500.
The two cases filed against the alleged scam artists are as follows:
In the first case, the defendants selling software include PC Cleaner Inc.; Netcom3 Global Inc.; Netcom3 Inc., also doing business as Netcom3 Software Inc.; and Cashier Myricks, Jr. The telemarketing defendants 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. In the second case, the defendants selling software include Boost Software Inc. and Amit Mehta, and the telemarketing defendants include Vast Tech Support LLC, also doing business as 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.
Both complaints allege that the defendants violated Section 5 of the FTC Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. If any of these names sound familiar, there's a good chance that you (or someone you know) fell victim to the scam.