Restraining Order Issued Against Florida Operators of Tech Support Fraud Scheme Targeting Seniors | takeover bid

0

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered the Florida-based company, Windows Service Center LLC, and its owner and operator, Erica Herson, 41, of Miami, to cease operating a fraud scheme in tech support that allegedly defrauded seniors. and vulnerable American victims over $1 million.

In a lawsuit filed March 30, the United States alleges that Herson set up a scheme through Windows Service Center, as well as through her former company USEL Support LLC, in which she contacted people by phone and convinced them to to buy overpriced and useless technical products. help desks and anti-virus software by falsely claiming that their computers were infected with viruses or malware or that hackers had accessed them. The complaint alleges that, in fact, Herson had no specific knowledge of the security of the victims’ computers before making the calls.

The complaint also alleges that Herson charged victims thousands of dollars to install software available online for free or at low cost. Further, the complaint alleges that once a victim made a purchase from USEL Support, Herson and USEL Support contacted that same victim multiple times in an attempt to obtain further payments by falsely claiming that the victim’s computer had additional security issues. The complaint alleges that Herson is pursuing the same tech support fraud scheme through his new company, Windows Service Center.

Technical support fraud schemes often prey on America’s senior citizens, exploiting their fear of online threats to steal their hard-earned savings,” said Assistant Deputy Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, chief of the division. Civil Service from the Department of Justice. “The Department of Justice is committed to using all available tools to protect seniors from telemarketing fraud, whether those fraudulent phone calls originate from overseas call centers or from here in the United States. .”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will hold accountable anyone who engages in schemes to defraud our elders,” said U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida. “We urge the public to avoid giving computer access to unsolicited callers claiming a computer needs repair, to exercise caution before clicking on links in emails or on social media, and to report any suspicion of fraud to the competent authorities.”

“Schemes of this nature target our senior citizens under the guise of helping them,” said Deputy Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigations Division. “The FBI works hand in hand with our law enforcement partners to dismantle crimes and scams like these, and we will bring the fraudsters who commit them to justice. The protection of the elderly and vulnerable citizens of our country is of the utmost importance to the FBI.

The temporary restraining order issued on March 31 prohibits Herson and Windows Service Center from engaging in telemarketing activities related to computer or software technical support and from accepting payment from consumers related to any service. computer or software technical assistance.

This case is being handled by trial attorneys Amy Kaplan and Ann Entwistle of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney James A. Weinkle of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

The ministry’s wide-ranging and extensive efforts to combat senior fraud are intended to put an end to the widespread losses that seniors suffer from fraud schemes. However, the best method of prevention is to share information about the different types of fraudulent schemes with relatives, friends, neighbors and other seniors who can use this information to protect themselves.

The public can report suspected fraud to law enforcement and file a complaint with https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/ and or www.ic3.gov/Home/FileComplaint.

If you or someone you know is aged 60 or over and has been the victim of financial fraud, you can get help from the National Senior Fraud Hotline: 1- 833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This Department of Justice hotline, operated by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the victim’s needs and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to help them report, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who are committing fraud, and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering the losses. The hotline is open seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET. English, Spanish and other languages ​​are available.

Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. Information about the Justice Department’s Elder Fraud Initiative is available at www.justice.gov/elderjustice.

Share.

Comments are closed.