Tech Support Scams Shut Down by FTC

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Tech support scams used to swindle money from consumers recently drew the ire of the almighty FTC.

On Wednesday, the government commission announced that it had halted the actions of six scam companies accused of charging victims with what the FTC said were “hundreds of dollars” after conning them into thinking their computers were infected.

Defendants have been charged with violating the FTC Act which protects against deceptive services. The case is being administered in a U.S. District Court. Most of the companies were operated out of India.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, meanwhile, applauded his organization’s efforts to go after the companies. In a press release, Leibowitz emphasized that those involved had “taken scareware to a whole other level of virtual mayhem.”

The tactic used was a telemarketing technique in which the fake tech support providers contacted consumers via phone lines, falsely noting they were with prominent companies like Microsoft, Norton, Dell and others, noted the FTC’s press release.

Scammers then told victims to visit a utility area via their computer systems, convincing them it showed infected files. To remotely fix the problems, the false tech providers charged prices between 49 and 450 dollars, a considerable amount.

In May, the FTC announced it had stopped a scheme from North America Marketing and Associates who convinced consumers they could make money off of ad packages related to web site building services. However, that too, was a scam.