An Indian-origin man has agreed to pay more than $136,000 and to a permanent ban on offering tech support services as part of a settlement with US federal authorities over allegations that he provided substantial assistance to an India-based tech support scam.
Parmjit Singh Brar was the operator of Genius Technologies and Avangatee Services and provided substantial support and assistance to the tech support scheme by receiving and processing customer payments and establishing and maintaining business accounts upon which the scheme depended, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said.
The accounts included telephone and remote computer connection services. As part of the scheme, Indian telemarketers contacted consumers by calling them or using Internet pop-up ads disguised as security alerts to trick consumers into buying bogus tech support services, according to the complaint.
The telemarketers claimed to be from well-known tech companies and warned consumers that their computers were at risk. If the telemarketers persuaded consumers to give them remote access to consumers' computers, the telemarketers purported to find a serious cyber-threat and claimed they would install expensive and high-quality security software to resolve the problem in exchange for a substantial sum of money.
The FTC alleges that the telemarketers installed out-of-date security software, and, in the process, illegally obtained consumers' personal information without their permission. The cost to consumers ranged between several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
As part of the settlement with the FTC, Brar is permanently banned from marketing, promoting or offering tech support services, and has agreed to an over seven million dollars monetary judgment, which will be partially suspended upon payment of the $136,000 due to his inability to pay the full amount.
The case was first announced in February in conjunction with an enforcement sweep launched by the US Department of Justice aimed at stopping illegal schemes that exploit older Americans.