The FTC has shut down a multinational tech support company that they allege are using pop-up ads with loud siren type audio sounds, to alert computer users of false security threats. The alerts prompt the users to call a toll-free number that connects them to overseas telemarketers. These telemarketers then offer, for hundreds of dollars, to connect remotely to the “infected” computer and perform repair services to fix the affected computer.
The company paid marketers for the pop-ups, which falsely claimed that consumers’ computers had been hacked or infected and were in urgent need of repair, the FTC said. Consumers were told to call a toll-free number purportedly associated with Apple, Microsoft or other well-known companies, but the consumers reached the company’s “telemarketing boiler room in India, where they were then subjected to deceptive and high pressure sales tactics,” the complaint says.
The FTC contends that a group of St. Louis registered firms are associated with the overseas tech support. The FTC listed Global Access Technical Support LLC, Source Pundit LLC, Global Smind LLC, VGlobal ITES Pvt. Ltd, Helios Digital Media LLC and as being affiliated in some part with the scam.
An FTC senior public affairs specialist Jay Field states, “The FTC has brought cases against numerous tech support scammers over the last four years.”
The FTC has successfully obtained a court order that forces the listed companies to temporarily shut down its operations, while at the same time freezing its assets. The FTC executes this type of action when it believes that there is a possibility that the companies involved might start moving money and assets to offshore accounts once it finds out that they are being investigated.