FTC Cracking Down on Tech Support Scammers Targeting Seniors

May 03, 2019

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that consumers lost $24.6 million from tech-support scams in 2015 and 2016. The average consumer loses about $280 on each scam.

Last year, the FTC received nearly 143,000 reports about tech support scams.

But, an even more revealing statistic is that the FTC found that people 60 and older were five times more likely than younger people to tell the agency that they lost money in this type of scam. Additionally, the older group were less likely than younger people to say they lost money to other types of scams.

The FTC’s Fight Against Scammers Targeting Older Adults

Over the years, the FTC has brought many cases against tech support scammers, including one against Elite IT.

In March, the FTC filed a lawsuit, stating Elite bought keywords on Google that allowed cybercriminals to target people searching for how to recover lost passwords. The people would fill out online forms and give their contact information, and then, Elite’s telemarketers would call and ask to get online access to their computers to check for problems. Once they gained access, the telemarketer would show victims fake “evidence” of viruses or other threats that, they said, had to be removed right away. Then, the telemarketers would rope victims into paying for unnecessary repairs or enrolling in costly maintenance plans they didn’t need.

This most recent lawsuit is part of the agency’s largest-ever nationwide elder fraud sweep that focuses on tech support fraud.

Other FTC Resources Available

In addition to the sweep, the FTC is encouraging people to visit ftc.gov/techsupportscams to learn how to protect themselves and others against these frauds and what to do if they get scammed.

The agency also has a video of a first-person account of a tech support scam and how the victim dealt with it.

Report a Tech Support Scam Today?

Anyone who has learned about a tech support scam should report it at ftc.gov/complaint. After reporting the scam, you should also read about how to protect yourself and your family from these types of scams.

In Conclusion

As the FTC works to combat tech support scams, merchants who offer honest services need to be able to operate. Due to the fear of many tech support scams in the digital space, many banks don’t want to work with these types of businesses. They don’t want to deal with the risk that comes with tech support businesses.

Businesses who operate online need tech support merchant accounts. In order to accept debit and credit card transactions, they need merchant accounts. To get one, they need to go to an alternative lender, such eMerchantBroker.com (EMB).

EMB is a high-risk merchant service provider who works with those in the tech support sector. It offers a simple, quick online application process. Most merchants get approved in as little as a couple days.

EMB also offers fraud prevention and a chargeback mitigation alert system.

Let us help you get a high risk merchant account today!

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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