Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Friday the filing of three complaints, including one filed jointly with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), against companies allegedly involved in the operation of what are called tech support scams.
Tech support scams trick consumers into believing their computers are infected with viruses and malware in an effort to bilk users out of hundreds of dollars.
"Tech support scams prey on people's fear of losing important work, family photos or sensitive identification information. Using that fear, scammers trick thousands of consumers in to paying millions of dollars to fix problems that never existed," said Attorney General Bondi at a media conference Friday. "These scams will not be tolerated in Florida and that is why we are bringing more cases against more tech support scammers than any other state in the country to protect consumers and recover money for victims."
These recent scams all involve similar tactics targeting consumers by using pop-up ads disguised as computer virus alerts that instruct consumers to call a number for help. This number connects callers to a sales agent at a call center who allegedly confirms the computer is infected and in need of services. The scammers exploit consumers' fears about computer viruses, malware, hackers and other security threats, to ultimately convince them to purchase unnecessary and costly technical support services or software products.
To learn more about tech support scams, and what to do if you fear you are a victim,visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
The scams are up about 13 percent since 2015, according to the FTC, and victims usually lose hundreds of dollars, plus put their personal information at risk.
Attorney General Bondi's Office alleges that the following companies are in violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act:
- GoReadyCalls Marketing, LLC,
- A.E.A. Worldwide, LLC,
- Capital Investments, LLC,
- Cutting Edge Outlook, LLC,
- Kradanomic Solutions, LLC,
- Secure It Digital Solutions, LLC,
- Software Pros, LLC,
- Teamkeen, LLC,
- Us Software Experts, LLC,
- Us Software Pros, LLC,
- Wizard Tech Solutions, LLC, Adam Lennox, Evan Keen;
- Learn More Media, Inc.
- Elesha Aflalo;
- Vylah Tec LLC d/b/a Vtec Support,
- Express Tech Help LLC,
- Tech Crew Support LLC,
- Angelo Cupo, Dennis Cupo and Robert Cupo
Each complaint orders the freezing of assets, seeks immediate access to the business premises and the appointment of a receiver. The complaints filed against Learn More Media Inc., GoReadyCalls Marketing, LLC and related entities and individuals, also seek preliminary and permanent injunctions, full consumer restitution, disgorgement of ill-gotten monies and attorneys' fees and costs.
Since November 2014, Attorney General Bondi's Office has filed 12 actions against tech support scam operations, leading the nation in shutting down these bad actors.
Anyone who suspects unfair or deceptive business practices can file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office online at MyFloridaLegal.com or call (866) 9-NO-SCAM.