“They might as well be selling a magic potion with eye of newt to fix your computer,” Yost said. “It’s a rip-off and I’m not going to stand for it.”
Ohio, in coordination with attorneys general from across the country through the National Association of Attorneys General, joined the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and other regulators in a nationwide sweep to combat tech support scammers.
Tech support scams work in similar ways.
Scammers use phone calls and online ads resembling security alerts from major technology companies to trick consumers into contacting the operators of these schemes and providing access to the consumers’ computers. The scammers will claim consumers’ computers are infected with viruses or experiencing other problems.
They then try to pressure consumers, especially the elderly, into buying unnecessary computer repair services, service plans, anti-virus protection or software, and other products and services.
Thursday’s filing alleges that Aman Sachan, of Westerville, operated Support By Experts, LLC and Real Tech Experts, LLC, all of whom were involved in tech support scams throughout Ohio.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants created pop-up advertisements, encouraging consumers to call them by saying the consumer’s computer was infected with a virus. When the consumer called, the defendants then sold consumers a worthless product for hundreds of dollars. The complaint alleges multiple violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, consumer restitution, and civil penalties.
As part of an education effort, Yost also today released a video encouraging Ohioans to be diligent in spotting and avoiding tech support scams.
Attorneys general through the National Association of Attorneys General, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission worked for more than a year on the initiative. In addition to Ohio, 16 other states and Washington, D.C. participated.