FTC Settles With Microsoft Tech Support Scammers

The FTC and the State of Alabama recently settled with several tech support companies which were alleging to be from major technology companies such as Microsoft and Apple.  The companies include:

  • Trothsolutions Inc.
  • Trothsolutions LLC
  • Quickkonto LLC
  • Crazy Bee Man of Palm Beach Inc.
  • eDoorways International Corp.
  • Airoways LLC
  • Escue Energy, Inc.

These tech support companies were advertising online, and also creating pop-up alerts on endpoint screens saying the device was infected and they needed to call a 1-800 number for assistance.  Upon doing so, the fraudulent support technicians were asking for authorization to remotely access the computer.  Once they had access, they would run fake diagnostic scans saying there were issues within the PC.  This was followed by “remediation efforts” to “fix” the “issues” which cost the user hundreds of dollars.  However, keep in mind, there is really nothing wrong with the device.

Two settlements were issued.  The first was for $2 million, which has been suspended.  According to The Register, the defendants must comply with the following conditions in order for the settlement to remain suspended:

  • Do not advertise, market, promote or sell any tech support products or services
  • Pay $10,000
  • Sell one of their cars

According to the press release from Guru3d, the other settlement was for $547,087, which will be suspended upon payment of $61,360.

Earlier this year, the FTC began issuing refunds to the victims.  The funds totaled $10 million; although the amount issued to each victim is not clear.

**PC Matic is unable to assist victims identify if they are entitled to a partial refund by the FTC.  If you are a PC Matic subscriber, and need assistance with the program, you may reach out support team at www.pcmatic.com/help.

(Visited 9,560 times, 7 visits today)

34 thoughts on “FTC Settles With Microsoft Tech Support Scammers

  1. PC Pitstop LLC
    Business Management
    • Dotan Glenn, Vice President
    Contact Information
    • Rob Cheng, CEO
    • Sheila Molden, Administration
    Business Category
    • Computers Hardware, Software & Services

    Complaint made to:
    https://www.complaintslist.com/file-a-business-company-complaint/#gf_1

    ON 7-23-2017 PCMATIC sent me an e-mail charged my credit card for a renewal! Now they say I have NO ACCOUNT with them! Yet, I have e-mail and credit card information to prove it! I am out $49.99 and they will not allow me to talk or connect with anyone to resolve this! Their e-mail and charges are to THEIR company and NOT ANOTHER SCAM COMPANY! THIS COMPANY NEEDS TO HAVE A CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED AGAINST THEM AND ALL COMPLAINTS MADE TO THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU!
    I CAN NOT ACCESS THE SOFTWARE! THEY OBVIOUSLY CHARGED ME FRAUDULENTLY! I CAN NOT EVEN ACCESS CEO OR SUPPORT VIA INTERNET AS REPLY I HAVE NO ACCOUNT! HERE IS E-MAIL RECEIVED BY COMPANY ON 8-7-16 PROVING MY THE VALID ACCOUNT WHICH THEY RENEWED 7-23-17! YET I GET DAILY POPUPS STATING THAT I AM NOT A RGISTERED USER! LOOK AT YOUR RECEIVABLES AND SEE MY CHARGE CARD PAYMENT OR CONTACT ME AND I WILL GET MY BANK INFORMATION TO PROVE IT! I INTIALLY RESPONDED IN THE 30 DAY LIMIT TO HAVE A FULL REFUND?!

    FROM: PC Pitstop
    8-7-16
    Dear: William
    Our records indicate that you are a licensed user of PC Matic, but have not yet completed a scan and clean.
    We recommend running PC Matic weekly to keep your PCs faster, more stable, and more secure.
    If you have any trouble with any of these steps, or you continue to get this email after completing these steps, please contact our customer support team: http://pcmatic.com/help.

    Click here to unsubscribe or change your email preferences.
    Privacy Policy
    PC Matic is developed & supported by
    PC Pitstop, LLC 2515 W 22nd St. Sioux City, IA 51103

    Copyright 2016 PC Pitstop. All rights reserved.

    MY COMPLAINT TO THEIR LOCAL BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
    BBB CASE#: 32106493
    *** If you have information you would like to provide regarding this complaint or need to upload a document, click here. ***
    Complaint filed by:
    William Plesko    (More)
    Complaint filed against:
    PC Pitstop, Inc    (More)
    Complaint status:
    Reminder of Dispute to Business – AB     (More)
    Case Description:
    ON 7-23-2017 PCMATIC sent me e-mail charged credit card for renewal! Now say I have NO ACCOUNT!
    I have e-mail & credit card proof! Want refund ASAP!
    they say I have NO ACCOUNT with them! Yet, I have e-mail and credit card information to prove it! I am out $49.99 and they will not allow me to talk or connect with anyone to resolve this! Their e-mail and charges are to THEIR company and NOT ANOTHER SCAM COMPANY!
    I CAN NOT ACCESS THE SOFTWARE! I CAN NOT EVEN ACCESS CEO OR SUPPORT VIA INTERNET AS REPLY STATES I HAVE NO ACCOUNT! HERE IS E-MAIL RECEIVED BY COMPANY ON 8-7-2016 PROVING I HAD A VALID ACCOUNT WHICH THEY AUTO RENEWED ON 7-23-17!

    E-MAIL FROM: PC Pitstop
    8-7-16
    Dear: William
    Our records indicate that you are a licensed user of PC Matic, but have not yet completed a scan and clean.
    We recommend running PC Matic weekly to keep your PCs faster, more stable, and more secure.
    If you have any trouble with any of these steps, or you continue to get this email after completing these steps, please contact our customer support team: http://pcmatic.com/help.

    Click here to unsubscribe or change your email preferences.
    Privacy Policy PC Matic is developed & supported by PC Pitstop, LLC 2515 W 22nd St. Sioux City, IA 51103 Copyright 2016 PC Pitstop. All rights reserved.

    AUTO-RENEWAL E-MAIL SENT 7-23-2017
    MY COMPLAIT IS WITHIN THE COMPANY’S 30 TIME LIMIT!
    Dear William Plesko,
    Your subscription to PC Pitstop PC Matic (License key MCHO-4504196) has been renewed for $49.99, using credit card VISA XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-4509.
    If you have any questions about your renewal, please contact customer service:
    http:/pcpitstop.com/store/service.asp
    Since you started using PC Matic Home, we have made the following improvements to your PCs:
    Changed 1 Internet values for better speed and reliability. Stopped 4 programs and 2 system services that could impact performance.
    Made 310 fixes to clean up incorrect or missing registry entries.
    Cleaned 2794 junk files totaling 797 megabytes.
    Defragmented 18 highly fragmented files totaling 3523 megabytes.

    Order information:
    License Key: MCHO-4504196
    Email given at purchase: cva41@yahoo.com
    Email used for registration: cva41@yahoo.com
    Regards, The PC Pitstop team.
    NO ACCESS ALLOWED, THEY SAY I HAVE NO ACCOUNT!
    I can also have bank provide proof my SOTWARE RENEWAL was charged card on my card and accepted by their company!
    NOW I WANT REFUND A.S.A.P.!

    WILLIAM PLESKO
    CELL PH. 219-477-0257
    HOUSE PH. 219-795-9127
    E-MAIL cva41@yahoo.com
    Extra Detailed Info
    Date of last interaction with business: 10/03/2017
    BBB Designated Category:
    Refund or Exchange Issues 
    Case opened date:
    10/05/2017 
    CLOSED DATE: NONE AS OF THIS DATE!
    Desired Resolution:
    NOW I WANT REFUND A.S.A.P.!

        
     

    • Hello,
      It appears your refund was processed on November 7th. It should have been credited to your payment method by now. If you have yet to receive the credit, please let us know. Thank you.

  2. THE FCC RECEIVES MONEY AND BRIBES TO BE LENIENT WITH EVERY LAW BREAKERS.
    IT IS UNBELIEVABLE THAT THE FCC IS TRYING TO SETTLE WITH THESE CRIMINALS INSTEAD OF PROSECUTING THEM THEY SHOULD BE IN PRISON NOT SETTLING FOR MONEY SO THEY CAN
    CONTINUE DOING THEIR SCAMS UNDER DIFFERENT NAMES. SHAME ON YOU FCC !!!!!

  3. I am a pcmatic user and have nothing but praise for the service. Perhaps the people above have been scammed BT an impersonator. If you don’t like ocmatic go to someone else

  4. A couple of months ago my laptop went “haywire” and the notice came up to call a number to “have the issue fixed”. I realized this was a scam and immediately forced a shutdown. After a short time I rebooted my laptop and immediately ran a full PC Matic scan. My laptop was back to normal, no harm done. Thank-you PC Matic.

  5. Here are 5 suggested responses for when they call:
    The caller says “Hello, this is Windows Support calling. We have detected blah blah blah . . .”
    Suggested responses:
    1. Yes. This is officer [so and so] in the “Fraud Division”. I need your exact name and location. (Off to the side) Have you guys got that trace yet? (Back to the caller) You know, you are probably going to go to jail today for what you are doing. How much are they paying you?
    2. Hey! I work at Microsoft in Windows Support too! What building are you in? I’m in 412-S. Do you work with [so and so]? (Let them answer, then hang up.)
    3. That’s interesting, because I don’t own a computer! Perhaps you’ve called the wrong number. What number did you dial?
    4. (sound very weak and feeble) Just a moment . . . let me turn on my computer . . . (wasting their time as much as possible) It’s … very … slow … starting … up. Just another minute or two. (wasting more of their time) Can’t seem to get it to start up. (waste as much of their time as possible, then tell them what you think about them and hang up).
    5. What does it feel like to be a liar and a thief? Doesn’t that bother you? Does your Mother know that you cheat and lie and steal for money? What a creep you are!

    • @John A:

      Even better, you answer & let them say whatever they first say & immediately reply, “oh, just one moment– someone’s at the door– hold on, I’ll be right back….& never go back– hang up after 10 mins. Lol!

  6. I can’t believe in this day and age people would give a stanger remote control of their computer or a credit card number or any type of payment.

    To blame PCMatic is dumb, they protect against viruses not stupidy!

  7. This has happened to me not once but twice and I fell into their trap paying each time about $200 each time they supposedly fixed the problem. After which, I watched as they took over my screen performing some of the same
    fixes I could myself. The second time this happened i realized this was a scam and opted to subscribe to PC Matic which I have nothing but great protection even though there are scammers out there that still try this technique to get into my PC to no avail as I know your company is offering the best protection in the world. Thank you and keep up the awesome protection you provide.

  8. I get a kick out of the people that were hacked, then get PC Matic and blame their maladies on you. Lol The one sounds like one if the scammers trying to get you guys to pay them now that the public is hip to them..
    Keep up the giid work. I will renew as soon as I unpack from my move and hook up my still functioning ( thanks to y’all) dinosaur.

  9. Any way you cut the mustard, each State in the U.S. carries different levels of GRAND LARCENY along with Prison Sentencing !! How can it be that these “scammers” are NOT put behind bars ?? Amazing !!

    • @J

      I agree with you 100? If one were to delve more deeply into Federal and State Laws you would
      find that all these cases amounted to Fraud – it’s just that anything connected with a computer is
      not yet in the ‘real’ world as far as police and prosecutors are concerned. Perhaps with one
      exception (to be fair) Child Pornography.

  10. They still have a tech number at the bottom screen. I would like to get rid od it. They zipped up my PCMATIC program which I still can’t get into it after reporting it. They insisted they needed my routing number for my bank, but I made them take my credit card. (They knew I could cancel the payment that way.) I feel lie ai have no PCMatic program, since I can’t use it; but it is charged to me this year.

    • Hi Tanna,
      We do not want you to be unable to access PC Matic. I have sent you the most recent helpdesk response. Please follow the directions included. If you need additional assistance, please let me know. Thank you.

    • @Tanna Wermes: I am glad someone can get PC Matic customer service. I have sent 20+ requests for assistance, even left a phone message and still no one contacts me back but you charged my credit card very quickly for renewal. Shameful. You should really look at yourselves before you criticize other vendors for lack of service.

      • Hi Ann – It looks like our helpdesk has responded to each of your tickets; however perhaps you are not receiving them. I will be sending you an email regarding each of your ticket requests. Thank you.

  11. This happened to me numerous times and I payed $79.00 three times to fix it with no results. Also I bought PC Matic, had to sign for a year, they did nothing and when I was notified to renew and I declined they STALKED me for months, put a virus on my computer which could not be fixed and right before that was done threatened me to renew again, when I didn’t they showed me what control they had by putting a picture of me on my computer screen while I was sitting in my house working on my computer! They need to be investigated as I see their commercials are back on TV. They tried again getting me back under a different business name which was PCPitstop! It took 2 years to get them out of my life and a $22 hundred computer that I had to dump. They are dangerous and should not be in business! Their behavior of threats, intimidation, taking over my computer and taking a picture of me through my computer camera was I believe against the law. People still need to know that they and anyone else in their home are quit possibly being watched through there open computer and smart TV. My computer was always open in my bedroom! God only knows how much they viewed of me the years I had it there! How many laws does that violate never mind that a predator took a live picture of me working on my computer and put it on my screen while I was doing my work to threaten me!

    • Hi Ellen — You are correct. Hacking into your computer, taking pictures of you via your webcam, etc. is illegal. PC Matic is a legitimate security solution, made by PC Pitstop. However, please understand, under no circumstances does the business threaten you to renew, or hack into your device. PC Pitstop takes great pride in the work they do to ensure the highest level of computer protection and professionalism.

      • Not true I was a VICTIM of PCMATIC, WHAT I RELAYED IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND I HAVE WITNESS WHO WAS THERE AT THE EXACT TIME. YOU ARE PREDATORS WHO CHANGED YOUR NAME AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM WORKING WITH THE PUBLIC AS YOU SPY ON THEM TO HARM THEM!

      • Not true I was a VICTIM of PCMATIC, WHAT I RELAYED IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND I HAVE WITNESS WHO WAS THERE AT THE EXACT TIME. YOU ARE PREDATORS WHO CHANGED YOUR NAME AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM WORKING WITH THE PUBLIC AS YOU SPY ON THEM TO HARM THEM! OF COURSE YOU WILL NOT POST THIS BECAUSE YOU ARE CRIMINALS AND THREATEN SOCIETY WITH THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS! SICK SICK SICK PREDATORS!

      • @Kayla Thrailkill: A little off this subject but would you please have the boss put in a better way to add to the white list manually as the current method does not address all the problems that can come up and type of things that end up blocked that I don’t want blocked.!!!! I am sure I am not the only one to complain as I have read threads that say the same thing. With in certain programs it seems to block a section of a program like an update.exe which is crazy!!!! Interested on seeing what you say!
        Thanks a lot!!!!
        Aloha

        • Hi Francine,
          We are consistently looking for ways to make our product better, so we will most certainly take your suggestion into consideration! I will share your thoughts with our development team, and they’ll do their best to address the issue. Thank you for your feedback!

        • Hi Francine,
          Thank you for the feedback. We are consistently striving to make our product better, so I will be sure to share your thoughts with our development team! Have a great day!

    • I should have caught on when the man with that famous Filipino accent informed me that he was from Microsoft and they needed to fix a very dangerous computer problem. Rather quickly I realized it was a phishing call and they wanted my SS number “To verify my identity”. After about five minutes they told me that the charge for fixing my computer would be $100 and they needed my Credit card number. As I was hanging up he was trying to tell me that the problem was still not fixed. I shut off my computer for five minutes and it has worked fine. PS: I have had two blue screens since I started using PCmatic-never before. ???

  12. How bout some jail time? A “settlement” is not a settlement if it can be reduced to almost a tenth of the amount! Lunacy, play on words. I’m sure the government’s case cost the taxpayers a whole lot more than these crooks are going to have to pay. They should be put out of business! This kind of weak-kneed prosecution will ensure that such tactics continue, possibly by the self-same actors.

    • @Wayne: Exactly right, they should take in consideration how much mony the scammers took in and fine them that much plus like 10% ! If the scammers took in, for example, $ 100,000 and they get fined only $ 1000, it is cost effective for them to keep scamming people because they are money ahead.
      Plus, What kind of settlement requires anyone “to sell ONE of their cars” ?????
      CRAZY !!!@Wayne:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *