Tech Support Scammers Used Software, Deceptive Sales Pitches to Trick Consumers

The FTC and the State of Florida charged that the defendants violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act

Tech Support Scammers Used Software, Deceptive Sales Pitches to Trick Consumers
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June 21, 2016

Two unscrupulous tech support companies have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State of Florida charges that they scammed thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars by selling them bogus technical support services.

Under the settlement, Vast Tech Support, LLC and OMG Tech Help, LLC, along with their chief operating officer Mark Donohue, are prohibited from misleading consumers about the nature of the products they sell or market, as well as from deceptive telemarketing.

Additionally, Vast Tech Support and OMG Tech Help are prohibited from advertising, promoting or selling any tech support products or services.

The FTC's complaint against the defendants was filed in 2014 as part of a group of actions against Florida-based tech support schemes. It alleges that the defendants used software designed to trick consumers into thinking there were problems with their computers. Consumers were then directed to telemarketers and subjected to high-pressure deceptive sales pitches for tech support products and services.

The FTC and the State of Florida charged that the defendants violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act, along with the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Under the terms of the settlement, Donohue is subject to a monetary judgment of nearly $9.2 million, which is suspended based on his inability to pay. Vast Tech and OMG Tech are subject to a monetary judgment of more than $27.2 million, which is partially suspended. The companies are required to surrender all of their assets to a court receiver.

The full monetary judgments will become due immediately if the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial situation.