A man who operated a couple of Hayward-based businesses must pay $136,000 in connection with a tech-support scam out of India, and can never offer tech support again.
The Federal Trade Commission this week announced a settlement with Parmjit Singh Brar, who it accused of working with telemarketers to trick elderly Americans into buying fake tech-support services.
The judgment was for $7.6 million, but it was partially suspended because of Brar’s inability to pay the full amount, according to the FTC.
The telemarketers claimed to be from well-known tech companies and told people their computers were at risk, the FTC said in a press release Tuesday. Those who allowed remote access were charged money to get outdated security software installed on their computers, and their personal information was also stolen. The scammers either called people or used pop-up ads disguised as security alerts, according to the FTC.
“The cost to consumers ranged between several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars,” the FTC said of the scam, which appeared to begin in 2015.
Under the settlement, Brar — who operated Genius Technologies and Avangatee Services and does not admit or deny the allegations, according to court documents — “is permanently restrained and enjoined from advertising, marketing, promoting, or offering for sale, or assisting in the advertising, marketing, promoting, or offering for sale of Technical Support Services.”
The settlement was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, and must still be signed by that court’s judge.
Brar’s attorney has not yet returned a request for comment.
The case was first announced in February as part of a Department of Justice effort to target scams aimed at the elderly.