It has come to our attention that some consumers who were clients of Client Care Experts (“CCE”) and/or First Choice Tech Support (“FCTS”) have received calls from one or more companies advising them that the technical support they had previously purchased from CCE or FCTS has been transferred to a new company, and that additional funds are needed to maintain the security of their computer. Some former clients were told that the new companies could help them obtain refunds.
No companies have been authorized to provide former CCE or FCTS clients with any services or to provide a refund for previous purchases.
CCE and FCTS were shut down in June 2016. If you have been contacted by any company purporting to represent CCE or FCTS since June 2016, please print and fill out the attached questionnaire, and mail to:
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
Attn: Adam Latham
9 Executive Dr.
Fairview Heights, IL 62208-1344
Questionnaire – For former clients of First Choice Tech Support a/k/a Client Care Experts
Court Cases: Aievoli | Bachman | Broad | Carr | Cortez | Crowell | Davidson | Dougherty | Espenshade | Iannaccone | Lawing | Ludena | McCart | McCormick |Miller | Richardson | Seward | Swinson | Wasik
Client Care Experts LLC, formerly known as First Choice Tech Support, LLC, is a Florida based computer technical support telemarketing scam, which targeted owners of computers throughout all 50 States in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, several U.S. territories, all ten Canadian Provinces, the United Kingdom, and several other foreign countries. The government has alleged that the overall scam bilked more than 40,000 consumers out of more than $25 million dollars. There were at least 57 victims in twenty-two (22) of the thirty-eight (38) counties comprising the Southern District of Illinois.
Victims received pop-up messages on their computer screens. These pop-ups locked up the victims browsers and were difficult to exit out of without shutting down or re-booting. The pop-ups contained ominous messages, warning the victims that their computers had been infected with viruses or malware, and that they were at risk of losing all of the data stored on their computers. The pop-ups instructed the victims to call a toll-free number for help. When the victims called the number on the pop-ups, they were connected with Client Care Experts salespersons. The salespersons convinced the victims to allow them to remotely access their computers and run diagnostic software. After they did this, the salespersons lied to the victims, telling them that they had viruses, malware, and/or other serious problems with their computers. The salespersons then persuaded the victims to purchase a system “tune-up” for their computers. If the victims agreed to purchase the tune-up, the salespersons then attempted to sell them virus protection software for $400. During the calls, the salespersons concealed from the victims that: (1) they could remove the pop-ups and free up their computers by simply re-booting or unplugging their computers and plugging them back in; and (2) that Client Care Experts had paid another company for the pop-ups that froze the victims’ computers.
These, and other cases, are being investigated by the St. Louis Field Office of the Chicago Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service General’s office.
Since there are a very large number of victims in this prosecution, these cases may be designated as “Multiple Crime Victim” cases by Court Order under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §3771(d)(2). Accordingly, the principal means of communicating and consulting with the investigators and government lawyers regarding these cases will be through a designated email for victims. If you are a victim, and wish to contact us, please send an email to USAILS.VW_ILS@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail), and provide your full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. Given the large number of victims in these matters, and our need to efficiently manage our multiple victim prosecutions, we ask that you communicate with us by email. If necessary, we can have someone respond to you by telephone.
Beware of calling in response to pop-up messages on your computer stating that you have a virus or other serious problem. Instead, call someone you know who is knowledgeable about computers, or a recognized, reputable computer repair firm. Often, these pop-ups can be removed by simply turning your computer off for several minutes and then turning it back on.
To any victim who plans to attend any Court proceeding:
Victims have the right to attend public Court proceedings, subject to some limitations as determined by the Court. For many reasons Court proceedings may be cancelled or rescheduled on short notice. If you are planning to attend a scheduled hearing, please check this web site for any updates before coming to Court.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771(a) provides:
A crime victim has the following rights:
(1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
(2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public Court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
(3) The right not to be excluded from any such public Court proceeding, unless the Court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
(4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district Court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
(5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
(6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
(7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
(8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.
United States Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois
9 Executive Drive
Fairview Heights, Il 62208