The fleecing of America continues as firms, mostly based in India, masquerade as major computer companies, tricking consumers into believing their computers were riddled with malware and then charged consumers to “fix” them.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered the operators of several international tech support scams to pay more than $5.1 million in U.S. victims. The operations were mostly based in India and targeted English-speaking consumers in the United States and several other countries.
The FTC complaints were part of an FTC crackdown on tech support scammers. According to the complaints filed by the FTC, the defendants claimed they were affiliated with legitimate companies, including Dell, Microsoft, McAfee, and Norton, and told consumers they had detected malware that posed an imminent threat to their computers. The defendants then charged these consumers hundreds of dollars to remotely access and “fix” the computers.
The FTC charged the companies with violating the FTC Act, which bars unfair and deceptive commercial practices. In five of the cases, the FTC also charged the defendants with violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule and with illegally calling numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.
Last year two of the individuals in the PCCare247 case agreed to settle FTC charges and give up ill-gotten gains and two of the defendants in the Marczak case agreed to settle FTC charges and to also give up ill-gotten gains.
BEST ADVICE: If your PC or laptop or whatever is highjacked with malware deal only with Dell, Microsoft, McAfee, and Norton and not some dude with broken English named Ajeet.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
Also, stay on top of the latest scams with CardTrak’s #SCAMTRAK.