Consumers who lost money to the NTS IT Care tech support scheme will be getting refunds, the Federal Trade Commission announced Nov. 7.
The refunds will be coming from a settlement that the FTC reached with NTS IT in 2020 for tricking consumers into buying unnecessary tech-support services. According to the FTC, many of the targets of this scheme were older adults.
How the NTS tech-support scheme worked
NTS used deceptive pop-up warnings that would appear on consumers’ computer screens as they browsed the Internet, the FTC claims. The warnings looked like security alerts and falsely claimed that consumers’ computers had been infected by malicious software.
The warnings also told consumers that their computers had been blocked and that their personal information was being stolen. Some of these warnings even appeared to come from Microsoft, Apple or other legitimate technology companies and urged consumers to call a toll-free number for help.
Consumers who called the number were told by NTS sales representatives that they needed to remotely access their computers to run diagnostic scans. The scans were fake, according to the FTC, but sales representatives would claim that computers were infected and would pressure consumers into buying multi-year technical support service packages that cost up to $499.
According to the FTC, NTS made millions of dollars convincing consumers that they should pay for tech support to solve non-existent computer security threats.
How victims will get refunds
The FTC is providing full refunds to consumers who provided victim statements in the case against NTS and its CEO, Jagmeet Singh Virk. Checks are being sent, and the average refund amount will be $937.
Consumers who have questions about the refunds can contact the refund administrator by calling 866-441-9746 or by emailing NTSITCare@refundadministrator.com.
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