On Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it was refunding more than $7 million to individuals that fell victim to a tech support scam.
The FTC stated that Vast Tech Support, LLC, and OMG Tech Help, LLC “used free security scanning software trials to trick people into thinking there were problems with their computers and then pressured them into buying tech and support products and services.” Previously, the FTC stated that the defendants’ software always detected errors, whether or not there were actually any errors, consumers were then pressured to purchase the companies’ products to resolve their non-existent computer problems.
The FTC initially filed a suit in 2014 against the companies for their alleged conduct. In 2016, the companies and their payment processor, RevenueWire, Inc., agreed to give money to the FTC for consumer refunds in a settlement with the FTC. As part of the settlement, they were also prohibited from misleading consumers, engaging in deceptive telemarketing, and advertising or selling tech support goods or services. Vast and OMG were represented by Greenspoon Marder in the 2014 suit.
The FTC stated that it will send 127,129 refunds via PayPal starting October 14 over two-days, with the average refund at $55.36. Recipients will have 30 days to accept the refund payment.