Greenville, SC - The BBB of Upstate SC (BBB) is not only urging consumers to avoid engaging with Prime Technologies LLC (also known as Avangatee, Divine Tech, PCaid24x7, Prime & Tech Solutions, Prime Tech, Prime Tech Help, Prime Technology, Speeders PC, Superior Tech, Superior TechHelp, and TechMind4u) but to immediately cease and desist any ongoing services and to take their computers to professional technicians. BBB has been working together with the USPS, FBI, and US Attorney’s office to bring these fraudulent ‘business practices’ to a halt. These efforts were brought to fruition on January 12, as Linda Massey of Greenwood SC was arrested for mail fraud, racketeering and money laundering and if convicted is liable for sums equal to or greater than $5,198,000.00.Massey told BBB she initially made contact with this company because of a pop-up that occurred on her computer urging her to call a number for PC Visor because of a virus. During that call she made contact with an individual she referred to as ‘Andy’ who she told the BBB is actually named “Aman Mehndiratta”, the named co-defendant in her indictment. Massey said this individual then contacted her multiple times, convincing her to set up an LLC in South Carolina named Prime Technologies using her personal mailing address. Her only responsibility would be to put the checks in the bank while collecting a commission on each check received.The BBB currently has 123 complaints on file for Prime Technologies spanning from Canada, through the United States to the Caribbean, amounting to $400,000.00. With the preliminary sum of forfeiture upon conviction listed as over 5 million dollars, meaning law enforcement officials are able to trace at least that amount to the deceitful dealings of this company, the BBB urges consumers to be wary of tech companies following a similar pattern especially since 12 company names have been traced back to this LLC so far.Reports by Consumers in the US to Better Business BureauHow this scam worksConsumers allege that initial contact is made either by a pop up freezing the computer with a phone number prompt or a phone call insisting immediate action needs to be taken or else there will be dire consequences. Once this initial contact is made, a tale is woven of individuals attempting to sneak through your firewalls, however your computer sent out a distress signal which the company received and is here to save you. This story is the foundation for a series of high pressure tactics convincing a consumer to give the company remote access to ‘fix’ these problems.One consumer reports “I received a phone call, a foreign man told me my computer had been hacked by 11 Russian companies and were going to with draw all of money out of my bank and credit union. He pulled up a screen that scrolled down showing all these hacker. He cursed and said if I didn't act fast my money would all be gone by morning. I am 74 years old and was petrified. He said not to worry they could fix both my laptop and desktop. I had to be very fast and he said to send a check for $6499.99 and I had to take the check immediately to the post office. They supposedly cleaned both computers and I did just what he said. I guess because of my age and fear of losing my money, I have now been scammed out of almost $6500.00. I should have been more cautious but was scared to lose my savings. The check cleared the bank and they removed contact information on my desktop..”Once the company has been granted access to your device consumers report that they are either brought to their event log or instructed to access their online banking information where this company can point out exactly where the intrusions happened which inspires trust in the representative and fear of these “evil hackers.” One consumer describes that she “was contacted thorough a large pop-up announcement on my computer that I had a malevolent virus and that my firewall was being breached and I needed to act immediately by getting in touch with Prime Technologies LLC right away. Needless to say, I was panic-stricken and called, at which point they quickly walked me through the problem by showing my computer threads and circling in red the "foreign caller" that caused this. So I took the bait and am still angry with myself!!”This ‘company’ will then install a series of programs to ensure you don’t have this problem again. These programs are malware enabling these individuals to enter and control your computer without your permission giving them unabridged access to personal and financial information as well as your computer activity. Once the installation is complete the company will demand payment (historically by check sent to SC) even certifying that this will be a lifetime guarantee for maintenance and security so you never need to experience this trauma again.But consumers report, it happens again. And again. With a reason each time why the lifetime warranty doesn’t cover those services. One man lost $20,000 to this company before he realized the con. If individuals refuse to pay the amount, the situation immediately escalates and the company shuts down the computer - holding the device hostage until payment is completed. One consumer reported that after the initial call “two months later they called and threatened me again by saying that Russian, Nigerian and Chinese hackers were hacking my computer and attempted to extort more money out of me. I said no, and they proceeded to infect my computer, transfer hundreds of files from my computer to theirs and left my computer so that I could not log on unless I called their 800 number. “The situations reported to the BBB have been dramatically climbing in their aggressive nature when a consumer challenges the typical pricing structure. Consumers report that declining to pay escalates from vulgar language, insults and threats to much more malicious behavior - as consumers watch the computer camera turn on to see themselves on screen while a voice comes through the speakers threatening the individual's life and family.One consumer was terrified when her refusal to pay elicited her computer to be turned off and a message to come through the printer. “This company I thought was protecting my computer, but in my opinion they are the ones that was making my computer not work. The problems happened more frequently and then they wanted more money I refused, it turned ugly. I was verbally attacked with vulgar comments, vulgar comments about my granddaughter (what they would do to my granddaughter and myself) vulgar phone calls, verbally attacking & threatening me. Would come to my home and make my life miserable.” After these incidents, the consumer reports that a message popped up on her desktop full of obscenities and threats which was immediately processed through her printer.In the last four weeks, consumers from Florida, Massachusetts, Kansas and New York have contacted the BBB to report that they received calls from Prime Technologies, LLC, in which the representative informed them that they had discovered a virus on their computer. Consumers stated in complaints that the company called them and told them there were issues with their computers and that they would take care of it for $299. One consumer even stated that the company has taken thousands of dollars from them. Prime Technologies, LLC, claims to be located in Greenwood, SC, at 720 Montague Ave., Suite 202. However, upon further investigation, BBB has determined that the address given is not a physical address for the company and is actually a UPS store. Better Business Bureau has also confirmed that the company does not have an active, local business license. However, they do seem to be registered and in good standing with the South Carolina Secretary of State.If you have been a victim of this scam:Go to a service technician approved by your computer company. It has been reported that the company embeds their programs into your Basic Input Output Systems (BIOS) which means there is no DIY remedy. Click here to find a list of computer technicians accredited by BBB. File a complaint immediately. Report this incident to www.ic3.gov/ and if payment was made by mailing a check go here postalinspectors.uspis.gov . This information will assist law enforcement officials.Contact service provider. Make your computer company aware of the situation. Some companies have created cybercrime units to look into scams of this nature. Change all passwords. Especially any accounts you may have accessed on your computer. Monitor bank activity. Alert your bank to the fraudulent activity and monitor statements closely.To protect yourself from scammers attempting to access your computerDon’t give out personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller. Hang up and call your service provider. Do not rely on caller id which is easily spoofed.Never grant remote access to unknown parties. Scammers will routinely try to use high pressure tactics to convince you to let them in. Don’t.Routinely update all operating systems. Be consistent about updating your web browser software, operating system, firewall and anti-virus software regularly.Cut ties with any company that insists you can only use them. All companies pride themselves on customer service and understand a consumer has options. Once a company demands loyalty, walk away. Please note the extra E, as Avangate, Inc. has been accredited by the BBB since 2010.