DOJ Obtains Restraining Order In Florida Fraud Scheme Targeted At Senior Citizens
On April 6th, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that the United States for the Southern District of Florida obtained a restraining order against Windows Service Center LLC and its owner Erica Herson. Winder Service Center LLC is a tech support company with main headquarters in Miami, Florida. The DOJ contends that this company defrauded Florida residents (mostly senior citizens) out of more than $1 million. Below, our West Palm Beach deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyers offer a more comprehensive overview of the enforcement action taken by the DOJ.
DOJ Enforcement Action: Tech Scam Targeting Florida Seniors
In late March, the DOL filed a complaint in a federal court in Florida naming Windows Service Center LLC and its owner Erica Herson as defendants. According to the allegations raised in the lawsuit, Ms. Herson and her company defrauded senior citizens and other vulnerable people out of more than $1 million.
The tech support scheme worked as follows: Individuals were “cold called” over the phone. They were then convicted of buying high-dollar technical support, including anti-virus software. To sell the expensive software, the company convinced people that their computer was already compromised with viruses and malware.
The reality is that Windows Service Center LLC had no specific information on the state of anyone’s computer. They were misleading consumers. Further, the company charged unsuspecting victims—mostly senior citizens—thousands of dollars for the installation of software that was, for the most part, available for free online.
The FDUTPA Allows Consumers to Take Legal Action
In this case, federal regulators took action to stop the fraud. They have now obtained a restraining order that prohibits the company (and its owner) from continued operations. In Florida, fraud victims do not have to wait on state or federal regulators to take action. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a state law that grants consumers and businesses a private right of action. You can file an FDUTPA lawsuit directly against the party responsible for a violation.
The FDUTPA allows individual consumers to seek compensation for the full value of their actual, out-of-pocket losses. To establish liability in an FDUTPA claim, a plaintiff must prove that they suffered losses due to deceptive or otherwise unfair conduct on the part of the defendant. FDUTPA violations can come in many different forms. Most FDUTPA claims are based, at least in part, on false advertising or other material misrepresentations or material omissions of fact.
Call Our Florida FDUTPA Lawyers for Immediate Assistance With Your Case
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Southeast Florida consumer fraud attorneys have considerable experience representing clients in FDUTPA claims. If you or your family member sustained financial losses due to a deceptive or otherwise unfair act, we are ready to help you fight for justice and compensation. Contact us today for immediate legal assistance. From our West Palm Beach office and our Miami office, we handle deceptive and unfair commercial trade practices claims throughout Florida.