Last week, Microsoft revealed that they have had more than 65,000 customer complaints since May 2014, all concerning tech support scams. In the last year, there has been a rise in the number of firms phoning and emailing consumers posing as tech support firms either working with or endorsed by Microsoft, who then go on to scam users out of rather a lot of money.
The folks at Redmond have been fighting back against this practice, as has the US Federal Trade Commission, and now they have fired a significant shot towards such charlatans. Last Friday, Microsoft filed a complaint in federal court in the central district of California against a Californian-based company and several others linked to it. The suit claims, quite rightly, that these firms’ unsolicited use of the Microsoft name lended them a credibility that they simply would not otherwise possess, and after delivering poor service, the fallout then generated comes to focus solely on Microsoft as the fraudsters disappear into the sunset with their ill-gotten gains.
As the complaint from Microsoft states,
“Defendants have utilized the Microsoft trademarks and service marks to enhance their credentials and confuse customers about their affiliation with Microsoft. Defendants then use their enhanced credibility to convince consumers that their personal computers are infected with malware in order to sell them unnecessary technical support and security services to clean their computers “
More often than now, these fraudulent firms cause more issues for the end consumer than existed in the first place, stealing private information wantonly, with the user none the wiser and assuming everything is legitimate.
With millions of citizens falling to these scams every year, the precedent set by this case could have positive repercussions throughout the USA, and the world of tech support might just become a little safer for all with just a few less sharks swimming around.
Have you been affected by tech fraud? Let us know in the comments below.