Marketing Madness

Fake FTC Tech Support Shut Down by Real FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has gotten an injunction against a Florida man who claimed to be offering tech support services on behalf of the agency.

“Since at least July 2016, Defendant Croft, who purports to run a technical support company called PC Guru Tech Support or PC Guru, has been deceptively marketing, advertising, promoting, and offering for sale technical support services by falsely representing to consumers that he is affiliated with the FTC and that he has been appointed by the FTC to contact consumers to provide technical support services,” the complaint says.

“In an attempt to further deceive consumers and reinforce the belief that Defendant is affiliated with the FTC and has been appointed to contact consumers on the FTC’s behalf, the Defendant states that he has included in the emails the ‘Federal Trade Commission Report,’ which names his company, PC Guru, to perform this work on behalf of the FTC.”

The emails sent to victims say that the recipient’s computer is infected with malware and is sending data back to hackers. If a consumer called the number in the message sent by Croft’s company, the FTC says, Croft answered and “again falsely represents that he has been hired by the FTC to assist consumers in removing any software downloaded on their computers by Fast Fix 123 or One Bit IT.” Consumers who fell for the scam would allow Croft to access their computers remotely, supposedly to remove the malware on them, the FTC complaint says.

The court concluded in granting the injunction that there is good cause to believe the conduct was illegal, that the FTC will win its case on the merits, and that “immediate and irreparable” harm are likely to result from his actions if not enjoined.

The injunction requires Croft to turn over documents and records the FTC can use to try and permanently enjoin what it says are his illegal activities.


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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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