CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Thousands of victims of a tech support scam are getting refund checks courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC sued a group known as Global Access Technical Support for tricking people into paying for unnecessary computer repairs in 2016. Global Access, also known as Global SConnect, Global sMind, Yubdata Tech, or Technolive paid $860,000 to settle the lawsuit.
Tech support scams typically start as a pop-up ad on your computer. The pop-up claims your computer has been infected with a virus. It may appear to be from a real software company and include a phone number to call. The scammer may ask for remote access to your computer or may try to sell you anti-virus software.
In the case of Global Access, victims claimed they were pressured to spend hundreds of dollars for repair services they didn’t need.
The FTC is sending refunds to more than 12 thousand victims. The refunds will average $66. Victims will get a check that needs to be cashed within 60 days. The FTC will send refunds through PayPal if it doesn’t have a mailing address.
If you’re receiving a refund through PayPal, the FTC will first send an email from email@example.com. You will also get an email directly from PayPal about the refund. You will have to log in or create a PayPal account to review and accept the payment.
The FTC also warns customers to be aware of possible scammers taking advantage of the refund. The FTC will never asks you to pay money or give sensitive financial information to get a refund. If you feel like you’ve been a victim of a tech support scam like this, you can report it at FTC.gov/complaint.
If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.