Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against a Los Angeles company for allegedly using Redmond’s name to scam customers into spending hundreds of dollars in support services to get nonexistent bugs fixed and then stealing their personal information.
Microsoft, in the civil complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court, has accused Omni Tech Support, a division of Customer Focus Services, of misusing the company’s name, registered trademarks and service marks in connection with false phony tech support services.
As per the lawsuit, Omni Tech utilized Microsoft’s trademarks and service marks to enhance its credentials and ensure customers about its affiliation with the company. The complaint alleges that support scammers from Omni Tech first convince consumers that their personal computers were infected with malware and then sell them unnecessary security services to clean their computers.
In some cases, the scammers even gains remote access to a customer’s computer and installs malicious software, including a program to grab customer’s private passwords.
Microsoft said it has received 65,000 calls complaining about the scam since May of this year alone and estimates that such fraud costs Americans $1.5 billion a year. The software giant also notes that senior citizens tend to be targeted the most for such scams.
The Redmond is seeking for injunctions against the companies to cease them from using its trademarks and misleading consumers, and is also asking for damages. The software giant is calling out for a jury trial to decide the matter.
Founded in 2000, the Los Angeles based Omni Tech’s website says the company has “hundreds of Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers” on staff.