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FTC Sending $610,000 in Refunds to Tech Support Scam Victims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun sending refunds to consumers who lost money in a tech support scam facilitated by payment processor Nexway.

This move follows a settlement announced in April, the agency said in a Thursday (Feb. 8) press release.

“The defendants agreed to a settlement with the FTC that prohibits them from any further payment laundering and requires them to closely monitor other high-risk clients for illegal activity,” the release said. “The defendants also had to turn over assets, which the FTC is using to refund customers.”

The FTC is sending more than $610,000 in refunds to 6,490 consumers, according to the release. Most consumers will get a check in the mail; those who did not have an address on file will receive a PayPal payment.

When announcing the proposed consent decree in this case in April, the FTC said its complaint alleged that Nexway and several subsidiaries processed tens of millions of dollars in credit card charges for multiple tech support scammers since at least 2016, all the while knowing that their clients were tech support scammers.

Tech support scammers use phone calls, pop-up warnings, and online ads and listings to fraudulently convince consumers that there’s a problem with their computer and that the scammer will fix it.

“Companies like Nexway that knowingly launder charges for scammers are breaking the law and helping scammers cheat money from consumers,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said when announcing the proposed consent decree in April. “The FTC will not hesitate to use its law enforcement powers to stop them.”

In a statement provided to PYMNTS at the time, Nexway said that it cooperated with the FTC in reaching this resolution, that the employees responsible for the conduct described in the complaint are no longer with the company, and that the company remains focused on helping businesses with their digital transformation.

“All company levels have been educated on the risks, and additional vigilance and precautionary measures have been implemented, particularly on [customer due diligence (CDD)] processes,” Nexway said in its statement. “Our teams are confident in the compliance program it has put in place to promote and ensure integrity in its relationships.”