PAIRSYS, INC., Tech Support Scam Shutdown
There has been a plague of fake tech support calls that have been going out to people all over the United States. One of those companies that was involved with this scam has been shutdown by the FTC: PAIRSYS, INC..
Pairsys, Inc., cold-called consumers masquerading as representatives of Microsoft or Facebook, and also purchased deceptive ads online that led consumers to believe they were calling the technical support line for legitimate companies.
“Pairsys targeted seniors and other vulnerable populations, preying on their lack of computer knowledge to sell ‘security’ software and programs that had no value at all,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We are pleased that the court has shut down the company for now, and we look forward to getting consumers’ money back in their pockets.”
Whether consumers were cold-called by the company or drawn in by deceptive ads, the FTC’s complaint notes that what followed was a deceptive and high-pressure sales pitch conducted by scammers in an overseas call center. The scammers would convince a consumer to allow them to have remote control over the individual’s computer, in order to analyze the supposed issues.
Once they had access to a consumer’s computer, the FTC alleges, the scammers would lead the consumer to believe that benign portions of the computer’s operating system were in fact signs of viruses and malware infecting the consumer’s computer. In many cases, they implied that the computer was severely compromised and had to be “repaired” immediately.
At that point, consumers were pressured into paying for bogus warranty programs and software that was freely available, usually at a cost of $149 to $249, though in some cases, the defendants charged as much as $600 for the supposed products. The FTC’s filings in the case allege that the company made nearly $2.5 million since early 2012.
Pairsys, Inc., Uttam Saha and Tiya Bhattacharya have agreed to the terms of a preliminary injunction issued by the court that prohibits the defendants in the case from making misrepresentations to consumers about what company they represent or whether consumers have viruses or spyware on their computer. They are also banned from deceptive telemarketing practices, and may not sell or rent their customer lists to any third party. The injunction requires that their websites and telephone numbers must be shut down and disconnected, and their assets frozen. – Source FTC