TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert Nov. 4 to let victims of several tech support scams know that millions of dollars in restitution is available.
A multimillion-dollar claims process is now in place following action taken by the the Attorney General’s Office to shut down several companies operating tech support scams.
Banc of America Merchant Services provided payment processing for the accused companies. Through an agreement with Banc of America, a claims process is now in place with $7.2 million available for victims.
The claims process follows a massive tech support scam investigation into the following companies; Complete Fix, Compusafe, JSA Sales, GoReadyCalls Marketing, My Direct Customer Care, My Direct Tech, PC Tech Pros, Project Net 123, Protectnet Solutions, Safenet Solutions, Secure IT Digital Solutions, Telcom Experts, US Software Experts, US Software Pros, Webguard 123 and Wizard Tech Solutions.
According to the investigation, as many as 70,000 people nationwide may have fallen victim to scams by these companies. Last month, claims notices went out to potential victims with information about how to obtain restitution.
For more information on the claims process, visit FloridaAGReimbursement.com.
Eligible victims are encouraged to submit claim forms as soon as possible. The deadline to file a claim and any supporting documentation is Dec. 17.
Tech support scams typically involve fake pop-up messages or imposter phone calls claiming that a consumer’s computer is infected with malware that poses imminent risk to the computer. Fraudsters will request virtual access to a victim’s computer to supposedly fix the nonexistent problem. These scammers often target seniors.
To avoid tech support scams, consumers should never:
• Click on any links or call phone numbers provided on pop-up ads or emails;
• Send money, credit card numbers or any financial information to someone they do not know;
• Give anyone control of personal computers or electronic devices;
• Forget that Microsoft and most major computer companies do not display pop-up warnings and ask consumers to call toll-free numbers about viruses or security problems; or
• Go online without up-to-date security software.
To report a suspected scam, file a complaint by calling the Attorney General’s Office at 1-866-9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
“Tech support scams are designed to make consumers think they are experiencing a computer problem,” Moody said in a press release. ”Many victims may not even know they are being scammed until months later. If you or someone you know has experienced a tech support scam, please review the information provided by our office regarding the claims process — you may be eligible for restitution.”