Two people who posed as employees of major software-security companies and convinced consumers to pay hundreds of dollars to fix nonexistent computer viruses or other software problems, have agreed to cease operation and surrender their assets, according to the Federal Trade Commission Friday.
Mikael Marczak, doing business as Virtual PC Solutions, and Sanjay Agarwalla deceived consumers into believing their computers had been infected or had other problems and then pretended to remotely fix the problems.
Marczak, a Californian, and his business Conquest Audit was also found to have used telemarketing to sell debt relief services, in violation of federal law, the FTC said.
Agarwalla, of San Diego, must pay a $3,000 fine, the total amount he allegedly made from the scheme.
A judgment of $984,721 against Marczak and Conquest Audit, which represents the total amount consumers lost in the schemes, was entered, but is stayed "due to their inability to pay the full amount," the FTC said. Marczak and Conquest Audit will instead "surrender almost all of their existing assets."