Microsoft is taking tech support company Omnitech to court, accusing it of profiteering from Microsoft’s name and fraudulently taking money from consumers.
“Tech support scams are not a new phenomenon. Scammers have been peddling useless security software for years, tricking people into spending millions of dollars on non-existent computer problems,” said Microsoft in a blog post.
“However, today’s scam artists have added a new twist, using a so-called ‘technician’ to gain access to a person’s computer.”
The scammers claim to find non-existent computer viruses and infections then con people out of money for bogus tech support in addition to stealing personal and financial information or even installing malicious software.
Microsoft has received over 65,000 customer complaints regarding fraudulent tech support scams since May.
Courtney Gregoire, senior attorney for Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, said that Omnitech and ‘related entities’ will face accusations of unfair and deceptive business practices and trademark infringement.
“Omnitech used the Microsoft trademarks and service marks to enhance its credentials and confuse customers about its affiliation with Microsoft,” he said.
“Omnitech then used its enhanced credibility to convince consumers that their personal computers were infected with malware in order to sell them unnecessary security services to clean their computers.
“In some instances, Omnitech has actually created security issues for victims by gaining access to their computers and installing malicious software, including a password grabber that could provide access to personal and financial information.”
Microsoft wants the company, and its entities closed, and is asking for damages.
Microsoft urged people not to trust those on the phone asking for personal information and access to computers and report any such attempts for information to the authorities.