On March 19, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it will begin mailing 36,830 checks totaling $10,158,601 to consumers who lost money to a technical support scam.
Inbound Call Experts, LLC, doing business as Advanced Tech Support, along with other defendants, agreed to pay more than $10 million as part of a settlement with the FTC. The defendants, according to the FTC, used high-pressure sales pitches to market tech support products and services by falsely claiming to find viruses and malware on people’s computers.
The average refund amount is $277.44. Recipients, according to the FTC, should deposit or cash checks within 60 days. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check, and if recipients have questions about the refunds, they should contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Analytics at 1-877-793-0908.
Refund Process Previously Announced for Victims of the Deceptive Tech Support Operation
On August 28, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it was sending e-mail notices to people who were eligible for partial refunds from the tech support scheme whose operators agreed to pay $10 million to settle allegations that they deceived hundreds of thousands of people.
Eligible consumers bought tech support products and services between April 2012 and November 2014 from Advanced Tech Support, which also used the name Inbound Call Experts. Consumers, according to the FTC’s announcement, had until October 27, 2017 to submit a request for a refund.
According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants used high-pressure sales pitches to market tech support products and services by falsely claiming that people’s computers were infected with viruses and malware.
The defendants in the case paid $10 million as part of a settlement with the FTC. The settlement also prohibited the defendants from misrepresenting that they have identified performance or security issues on people’s computers and from making any other misrepresentations while selling a product or service.
Initial Announcement that Telemarketing Defendants Charged in the Tech Support Scheme Would Pay $10 Million for Consumer Redress to Settle the Action
On December 22, 2016, the FTC announced that the defendants who operated the Florida-based tech support scheme, which the Federal Trade Commission and State of Florida charged deceived thousands of consumers, would pay $10 million for consumer redress to settle the action.
According to the complaint, defendant Inbound Call Experts, doing business as Advanced Tech Support along with other defendants, used high-pressure sales pitches to telemarket tech support products and services falsely claiming to find viruses and malware on the computers of consumers.
The stipulated final court order prohibited the defendants from misrepresenting that they have identified performance or security issues on the computers of consumers and from making any other misrepresentations while selling a product or service. Under the order, a monitor would be appointed to oversee the defendants’ business for two years, at the defendants’ expense. Further, the order required the defendants to review the business practices of any third-party lead generators from whom they obtain leads.
In addition to Inbound Call Experts, the telemarketing defendants included Advanced Tech Supportco LLC; PC Vitalware LLC; Super PC Support LLC; Robert D. Deignan, Paul M. Herdsman and Justin M. Wright.