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With payroll in arrears, online antivirus seller shuts doors

Jeremy Kirk | June 16, 2015
The sudden shutdown of a computer tech support call center has left some of its employees wondering if they will be paid.

A copy of the script followed by EZ Tech Support's agents shows how callers were misled. If customers said they were running an antivirus program, agents were instructed to say the program wasn't bad but imply that it was insufficient protection.

"It's much better than not having anything at all, but in this day and age you need to have Real-Time Full-Spectrum Protection and make sure you are protected against both viruses AND malware," the script reads.

A distinction between viruses and malware is nonexistent in modern security programs, which detect all kinds of harmful programs. Many who called EZ Tech Support, however, were older people with little knowledge about computers, former employees said.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed two lawsuits in November against an assortment of mostly Florida-based companies that allegedly conned consumers out of $120 million using deceptive sales tactics to sell ineffective software and unneeded support services.

Some of those companies had business models similar to that of EZ Tech Support. According to his LinkedIn profile, Wells used to work for Inbound Call Experts, a company named in one of the FTC's lawsuits.

One of the former employees said he felt bad about the job once he realized the scope of EZ Tech Support's operations. After working there for about a month, he started noticing that the business was "fishy."

Eventually, his sales figures sagged as he came to grips with the full scope of what was going on. "I was not enthusiastic to go in [to work], but I needed the money," he said.

 

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