FTC Sending Refund Checks to People Tricked by Tech Support Scams

The United States Federal Trade Commission today announced that it is sending out refund checks totaling over $1.7 million to people who fell victim to tech support scams.

Click4Support image via MalwareTips

Scam companies like Click4Support created ads on various websites claiming to be from tech support companies like Apple and Microsoft, tricking consumers into calling them for unneeded tech support services.

Click4Support representatives would convince people into providing them with remote access to their computers for identifying non-existent viruses and malware. The fake services were sold both on a one time fee basis or with a long-term service plan, with the fake company charging from $69 to thousands of dollars.

The FTC shut down Click4Support and other similar companies back in 2015 and filed legal action at that time, with refunds finally available for customer who were tricked into shelling out money.

The FTC is providing refunds averaging approximately $30 each to victims, and most recipients will receive their refunds through PayPal, though some will receive checks. The money is sourced from Click4Support after a federal court in 2018 ruled that its assets should be used to reimburse customers who lost money due to the scams.

While this is a small victory for some users who have been tricked by scammers, scams have unfortunately grown much more sophisticated over the course of the last five years.

Apple maintains a dedicated support page that instructs customers on how to avoid phishing emails, fake virus alerts, fake phone calls, and other similar scams. These tips are well worth reading for anyone who owns an Apple device.

Top Rated Comments

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20 weeks ago


Where is the money coming from? Tax dollars or is money recovered from the scammers?

Looked it up. From an earlier announcement: "At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court ordered that the assets of the operators of an alleged tech support scam be used to reimburse consumers who lost money to the defendants’ scheme."

I'll add this information to the article.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago


Am I a jerk for being of the mindset that if you're... let's say ignorant... enough to fall for these scams then you kind of deserve it and shouldn't be reimbursed?

Most of the victims are old people with no understanding of computers and many have undiagonized Alzheimer's. They are/were pretty smart when it comes to various other aspects of life. Some of them were scammed out of their life's savings. There have been incidents of suicide due to scams. Is this how you want to treat the elderly who worked to build this country, who fought wars to protect you, who laid the roads you drive your car in?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
My tech support company always asks for Target gift cards as payment - so I'm confident they're legitimate.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago




P.S. Anybody know how I can get that "macrumors newbie" notation removed or changed in my profile box?

User titles are based on post counts:



* Newbie => 0 - 29 posts
* Member => 30 posts
* Regular => 100 posts (minimum required to post in the Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum)
* 6502 => 250 posts (minimum required for access to the Marketplace forum)
* 6502a => 500 posts
* 65816 => 1,000 posts
* 65832 => 1,500 posts
* 68000 => 1,505 posts
* 68010 => 2,000 posts
* 68020 => 2,005 posts
* 68030 => 2,500 posts
* 68040 => 3,000 posts
* 601 => 4,000 posts
* 603 => 5,000 posts
* 604 => 6,500 posts
* G3 => 8,000 posts
* G4 => 10,000 posts
* G5 => 12,000 posts
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
Wish I was stupid. Pays well.

P.S. Anybody know how I can get that "macrumors newbie" notation removed or changed in my profile box?

I KNOW, I'll do this Click4Support thing and for $69 they'll tell me:)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 weeks ago
Unfortunately, my mother-in-law fell for one these scams. She's not stupid, but in her eighties and very far from being tech savvy. As a result, she's an easy target. I suspect many victims are elderly.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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