Indian American Man to Pay Over $136,000 for Involvement in Tech Scam
The Federal Trade Commission also banned California-based Parmjit Singh Brar from marketing and offering tech support.
An Indian American man from California, who was accused of providing substantial assistance to an India-based tech support scam, reached a settlement with U.S. federal authorities. Parmjit Singh Brar, who is an operator of Genius Technologies and Avangatee Services, will pay more than $136,000 and be permanently banned from offering tech support, PTI reported.
The case came to light in February this year during an enforcement sweep launched by the U.S. Department of Justice to stop illegal schemes exploiting older Americans. The Federal Trade Commission then proceeded to file a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, on Feb. 21.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Brar had provided substantial assistance to the tech support fraud by receiving and processing customer payments as well as establishing and maintaining business accounts upon which the scheme depended.
These accounts in question were telephone and remote computer connection services. The scheme involved Indian telemarketers calling consumers or using Internet pop-up ads disguised as security alerts to trick consumers into buying bogus tech support services.
Saying they were from well-known tech companies, the telemarketers told consumers that their computers were at risk, that hackers would soon break into their computers and rob their bank accounts. The telemarketers said that if they were given remote access to the consumers’ computers, they would install expensive and high-quality security software to resolve the problem in exchange for a substantial sum of money.
The Federal Trade Commission stated that the telemarketers then installed out-of-date security software, which they claimed was affiliated with the U.S. government. During this process, they illegally obtained the consumers’ personal information without their consent. The cost to consumers ranged between several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. They then made up additional reasons to push the consumers to buy more software to avoid new cyber-threats. Several people paid more than $50,000, and one person paid almost $400,000 over a period of several years.
As part of the settlement with the commission, Brar is banned from marketing, promoting or offering tech support services. He has agreed to pay over seven million dollars monetary judgement, which is to be partially suspended upon payment of the $136,000 due to his inability to pay the full amount.