AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday that his office's Consumer Protection Division has reached a final settlement with the three operators of a tech support scam that tricked consumers into buying expensive, unnecessary computer repairs.

The settlement is in conjunction with a nationwide sweep that the Office of the Attorney General helped lead, targeting scammers who engaged in tech support scams and other elder fraud cases.

The settlement permanently closes eight implicated businesses run by those three operators, provides more than $150,000 restitution to victims and includes a large civil penalty intended to deter future scams.

The restitution funds will come from a court-ordered asset freeze obtained by the AG's office when the lawsuit was filed in 2017. Priority will be given to consumers who filed complaints prior to the settlement.

Per the settlement, the operators of the scam – Dilip Bose, Mohit Arora and Ritika Arora – cannot ever advertise or sell any tech support service in the future. The settlement also imposes a $10 million judgment on them, which the state will only collect if they violate the terms of the agreement. 

They are required to dissolve their tech support companies within 30 days. Those companies are: AMD Tech Solutions LLC; Com Connect It Services LLC; Escutcheon Technologies, LLC; HPC Techs LLC; Texas Tech Connect, LLC; The Rhombus Techs LLC; VAP Techs LLC; and WAP IT Services, LLC. 

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In this scam, Bose, Arora and Arora used pop-up messages made to look like security warnings delivered to consumers by their Internet browsers or operating systems, which tricked consumers into believing a reputable tech company detected viruses or hacks on their computers. When consumers called the number displayed in the message, they were talked into allowing remote access to their computers and tricked by fake diagnostics tests that scared them into paying to fix nonexistent issues.

"The lesson here is that if you take advantage of Texans, you risk incurring the legal wrath of my office's Consumer Protection Division," AG Paxton said. "In this case, we've held accountable the owners and operators of multiple companies that used deceptive scare tactics to dupe Texans out of their hard-earned money. We've put them out of business – and spared other Texans from getting ripped off."

Last week, the Consumer Protection Division obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against the owners of other tech support companies that generated $11 million by taking advantage of consumers.

If you believe you are the victim of a scam, you can file an online complaint with the AG's office here. For more information on how to spot the signs of a scam, click here.

To read the settlement in full, click here.

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