If you used NTS IT Care to help you with a tech support issue, a check for nearly $1,000 might be showing up in your mailbox soon.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently went after another tech support scammer and has announced that it is providing full refunds to consumers who lost money to that company’s tech support scheme. The agency claims the pitch lured consumers into buying high-priced and non-essential tech support services which NTS often claimed to be tied to products from Apple, Microsoft, and other tech giants.
According to a complaint, NTS often targeted senior citizens and consumers who were unfamiliar with computer security. The ploy that NTS used to trick consumers were ominous. The FTC said false pop-up warnings showed up out of the blue when consumers were simply browsing the Internet.
Those pop-ups had power, however. They often disabled a user’s browser window, sending the user into panic mode.
The agency said that the pop-ups looked like a security alert from the computer’s operating system (i.e. Windows) and claimed that the user’s computer had been compromised by a virus or some sort of malware or spyware.
To send the user further over the top, the pop-up stated that the computer had been “blocked,” and that the consumer’s personal information was being stolen. And guess who could take care of that issue? Right – NTS.
When consumers called the number on the pop-up, NTS’ sales reps would then run phony diagnostic scans of the user’s computer to try and convince them that their computers were in serious need of repair, then applied pressure to push those consumers to buy multi-year technical support service packages that cost as much as $499.
“As a recent report to Congress makes clear, the FTC is committed to taking action to protect older consumers from scams like these that have a disproportionate impact on them,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“And, what’s more, the FTC will keep working with DOJ to ensure criminal prosecutions follow criminal conduct.”
If you got suckered by NTS, here’s what you should be getting
The FTC has identified 272 consumers who were suckered by NTS and, as part of its settlement with the company, is providing payments totaling more than $255,000.
The average refund amount is $937 and the agency says most consumers will receive their payment by check and will have 90 days to cash their checks.
Consumers who have questions about the refunds should contact the refund administrator by phone at 866-441-9746 or by email at NTSITCare@refundadministrator.com.