Federal and State Justice officials cracking down on scam artists
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
If you've ever sat down at your computer and found a pop-up window telling you the system is infected with a virus, you know how frustrating it can be to get the thing running properly again.
Maybe you've seen a number to call for tech-support in that pop up.
Federal and State Justice officials are cracking down on the scam artists who are using that technique.
One of the so called tech support companies was operating out of a boiler room in Boynton Beach. They were pulling a fast one on frantic computer users.
“They're literally trying to use a scare tactic on you, because you don't know any better,” said
Nick Fortin, President of Nexxen Technologies, a tech-support firm in West Palm Beach. He is frustrated that scam artists are posing as tech-support specialists to rip people off.
“Then it gives everybody like us a bad name,” Fortin said.
The Justice Department and the Florida Attorney General's office have just announced a big round up of the scam artists.
They have been using screens that contain messages of boom and doom and a number to call.
Investigators found some of those numbers went to a call center in our area.
The suspects behind that center are now banned from doing anything IT related in the future and will have to handover $700,000 of assets to the feds.
Big Dog Solutions, PC Help Desk, and Inbound Call Specialists were the Florida outfits.
Christopher J. Costanza and Suzanne W. Harris were the owners.
Back in Nick Fortin's office, he has a warning to all computer users:
“The reality is they're not going to ask you to call them, so if it has a phone number on it, it's definitely going to be a scam,” Fortin said.
Sometimes those pop-up boxes are so persistent , you can't X out of them, Fortin says if one of those keeps on coming up, switch the computer off.