On August 20, 2015, at approximately 2:35 p.m. EST, Plaintiff’s cellular telephone rang from a number identified as 800-845-6565. When Plaintiff answered the phone a male voice began speaking identifying himself as an agent of Microsoft, with their Database Technical Support team. The agent advised that he, as an agent of Microsoft was monitoring my computer using Microsoft server facilities and had determined that my computer had been infected with computer viruses, spyware and other malicious computer code that made my computer unsafe. The male voice repeated many different times several statements which were intended to cause me concern and anxiety about my computer’s security, and my own personal and financial security. The statements made by the male voice became more insistent that my privacy was at risk and included warnings that if I did not address the security issues that he/Microsoft were seeing in real time, just as he was speaking, my risks and liability would increase. Critically, the male voice insisted that he was monitoring my actual computer and that he was an agent of Microsoft in their “Server Department” or some such description.
On information and belief, this phone call came in on an auto or robotic dialing system and based on the poor audio quality of the phone call and the broken English of the operator, I believe the operator was calling from an foreign, international jurisdiction. After the insistent and persistent warnings of the initial male voice, the phone call was transferred to another operator who he stated that his name was “Alex” and he was a senior technician, who worked with Microsoft, who was a partner with a business identified as GeekSupportLive.Com. This next operator spoke in more clear English, and the audio quality of the phone conversation was better than the previous caller. “Alex” further advised Plaintiff that if he had additional questions he could call 855-481-5399 and that he could view the geeksupportlive.com website to purchase a protection plan to Plaintiff’s computer from the virus.
Upon being transferred “Alex” confirmed the previous caller’s warnings and threats that my own personal computers were infected with viruses and malicious code. “Alex” warned me that if I did not immediately take the actions that he directed, I faced great liability. Each of his statements became more and more insistent and coercive, warning me that I was at great personal risk if I did not follow his commands. “Alex” again confirmed that the basis for his warnings to me that my computer was infected was through his affiliation with Microsoft in their server monitoring department. “Alex” next directed me to get in front of my computer and type in the URL address www.teamviewer.com. “Alex” did not explain to me exactly why I was being directed to enter the teamviewer website, but he continued to prompt me through the various steps of accessing the teamviewer website making sure that I had typed in the address correctly and asking me repeatedly to describe to him what I saw on my computer screen when I accessed the teamviewer website.
When he confirmed that I was on the teamviewer website, he advised that he would provide a code that was an essential and necessary part of fixing my immediate and dangerous problems. Teamviewer.com is a legitimate remote-access computer site that allows one party to gain full control and access to another computer from anywhere in the world after the host computer user (“Plaintiff”) provides a nine digit code to the remote user (“Alex”). It was clear that the purpose of directing me to log on to Teamviewer was to give “Alex” and GeekSupportLive to gain access to my computer.
The entire conversation from both operators was false, fraudulent, misleading and deceptive. The insistent and aggressively coercive threats of computer viruses, malicious code and unwanted intrusions into my computers was false, fraudulent and misleading. The direct and specific representations that the callers were affiliated with Microsoft and that they were monitoring my computer from their offsite locations and doing so because they were agents of Microsoft was false, fraudulent and misleading. The direct, explicit and persistent threats that I was in danger were false, fradulent and misleading and were intended cause me great emotional distress and to coerce me to become a victim of their scam.