Tech Support Scammer Must Surrender Assets, Banned From Running Tech Support Companies

Image courtesy of Laura Nawrocik

The company name “OMG Tech Help” is so great and so evocative, it’s really a shame that a tech support scam operation used it. That’s one of the brands that a company out of Florida used for a phony tech support scheme that the state of Florida and the Federal Trade Commission busted up in 2014. Now the company has been ordered to surrender the assets that it has left, and its owner can’t run any tech support businesses.

Here’s how the scam started: victims would click on ads leading them to a free trial of computer-scanning software. This software would show the user as many as thousands of nonexistent errors on their computer. That would convince the user to spend maybe $30-50 registering the software.

When calling up the company to register, though, the victims would actually reach the company’s telemarketing squad, whose job was to sell them on computer “repair” services, explaining that they needed to access victims’ machines remotely, and showing them “errors” and problems that were neither.

“After convincing consumers that their computers need immediate help, the telemarketers then pitch security software and tech support services that cost as much as $500,” the Federal Trade Commission explains. Remember: the people targeted in this scam probably never needed any of those “repair” services in the first place.

The company’s chief operating officer has been ordered to pay a judgement of $9.2 million, but claims not to have the money, and the judgement has been suspended. The two tech non-support companies have been ordered to pay $27.2 million, but claims to no longer have the money, and its assets will be seized instead.

We can only hope that one of the seized assets will be that name, “OMG Tech Help,” and the name will be turned over to an honest company.

Operators of Tech Support Scam Settle FTC Charges [FTC]
FTC Obtains Court Orders Temporarily Shutting Down Massive Tech Support Scams [FTC, 2014]