Restraining Order Issued Against Florida Operators of Tech Support Fraud Scheme Targeting Seniors | USAO-SDFL

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Miami, Florida – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has ordered Florida-based Windows Service Center LLC and its owner and operator, Erica Herson, 41, of Miami, to cease operating a tech support fraud scheme that is alleged to have defrauded elderly and vulnerable American victims out of more than $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.

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 Assistant U.S. Attorney James A. Weinkle for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorneys Amy Kaplan and Ann Entwistle of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Division.

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 appropriate 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.

Court documents and related information can be found on the District Court for the Southern District of Florida website at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.govunder file number 22-cv-20964.

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