Microsoft seeks to stop L.A. firm from using its name to scam customers

Bloomberg News
Microsoft accuses Los Angeles company Omni Tech Support of using its name to scam customers

Microsoft Corp. said it plans to sue a Los Angeles company it accuses of using its name to scam customers into buying hundreds of dollars in support services to fix nonexistent bugs, then stealing personal information or installing malicious software.

Microsoft said it was filing a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Northern California against Omni Tech Support, a division of Customer Focus Services, according to a blog post. Microsoft, which accuses Omni Tech of unfair and deceptive business practices and trademark infringement, said it has received 65,000 complaints about this type of scam since May.

Microsoft accuses the firm of claiming to work for the software giant, then in some cases gaining remote access to a customer's computer and installing malware, including a program to grab private passwords. Senior citizens are a frequent target, according to the blog post by senior attorney Courtney Gregoire, who oversees Microsoft's work on digital crimes against what it considers vulnerable populations.

Omni Tech is based in Los Angeles and was founded in 2000, according to the company's website. The site says the company has "hundreds of Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers figuring amongst" its technicians.

Dominique Porche, an executive assistant at Customer Focus Services, said the company had no comment because it is still reviewing Microsoft's blog post.

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