AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that the Travis County District Court granted a temporary injunction halting the deceptive practices of HPC Techs LLC, Escutcheon Technologies, LLC, The Rhombus Techs LLC, and nine other tech support companies, as well as the four individuals who own and operate them. To preserve as much money as possible for consumer restitution, the temporary injunction also froze all business assets –along with the personal assets of two individual defendants –while the case is pending.
“My office will not tolerate deceptive sales tactics, especially those that utilize fear to make a buck,” Attorney General Paxton said. “We will do what is necessary to hold these fraudsters accountable for duping Texans out of their hard-earned money.”
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants used deceptive sales tactics to convince consumers to pay for unnecessary computer repair services. Consumers were contacted through phone calls and/or pop-up messages that appeared on their computer screens. The pop-up messages were designed to appear to come from Microsoft or other legitimate technology companies and falsely claimed that the consumers’ computers were infected by a virus or malware. The messages often included loud alarms or locked the consumers’ computers and urged consumers to immediately call a toll-free number for assistance. Failure to do so, the messages warned, would result in severe consequences—including loss of data.
According to the lawsuit, once consumers were on the phone, the scammers would convince them to let them remotely access their computers. The deceptive businesses then used fake “diagnostic test[s]” to scare consumers into believing their computers had malicious viruses or had been hacked by foreign intruders. Consumers were pressured to pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to “fix” their computers.
A copy of the lawsuit is available here: http://bit.ly/2AYpdFA
The temporary injunction can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2jlvTU9