DENVER, COLORADO—BBB serving Denver/Boulder is providing an update to a BBB investigation it publicly reported on this past November—that of BCP Techs, LLC—following a temporary injunction granted by a Texas district court against the company and the alleged scammers behind it. In November, BBB issued a consumer warning against BCP Techs following a pattern of complaints filed against the business. Texas’s Travis County District Court granted the injunction on December 4 in response to a petition submitted by the Consumer Protection Division of the state’s Office of the Attorney General. The order freezes assets belonging to the case’s three defendants until a final decision has been reached in their case. The court has set a trial date for December 10th, 2018. In its petition for temporary injunction, the Texas Attorney General alleges that three individuals—Mohit Arora, Ritika Arora, and Anna Shellner—conspired with one another and others to “operate a sophisticated scheme throughout Texas and the rest of the United States to deceive consumers into paying hundreds—sometimes thousands—of dollars for unnecessary computer services.” The state also alleges that the three defendants formed numerous corporate entities, including BCP Techs, in carrying out their scheme. As BBB reported in November, BCP Techs is a limited liability company registered in Parker, Colorado to Michael Vincent Lombardi. The majority of the eleven other limited liability companies identified by the state’s petition are based in Texas, although all allegedly did business throughout the United States. BCP Techs is the only Colorado business the petition names. The case’s three defendants are accused of collecting over $100 thousand per month from victims, the majority of which they quickly transferred to India. The Texas Attorney General’s petition confirms that the allegations BBB reported in November against BCP Techs were consistent with those made against the other corporate entities the three defendants operated. According to the Texas AG, the defendants engaged in “deceptive scare tactics to convince vulnerable or technologically unsophisticated consumers to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for completely unnecessary technical support services.” Allegedly, the defendants used pop-ups and phone solicitations to trick consumers into believing that their computers were infected with malware. Defendants are further accused of making misleading statements to consumers that implied they were affiliated with Apple, Microsoft, and other tech companies. In addition to taking consumers money, the accused scammers gained remote access to victims’ computers as a part of their scheme, and in some cases replaced existing security software with free downloaded alternatives while pretending to service victims’ computers.The state’s case emphasizes the extent to which the alleged scammers benefited from targeting consumers who were most vulnerable to cyber fraud. For example, the Attorney General’s petition for injunction notes that the amount the defendants charged each victim “appears to have less to do with the amount of work that is required to ‘fix’ the consumer’s computer, and more to do with the apparent sophistication of the consumer and how much defendants think they can get the consumer to pay.” Additionally, the petition accuses defendants of re-scamming previous victims “as many times as they think they can get [them] to pay” by calling and claiming victims’ computers were once again compromised by malware—even in the case of consumers who had supposedly purchased “lifetime” coverage. In the case of one elderly victim, the defendants allegedly ran their scam at least seven times and stole over $8500 within less than a year. The defendants are also accused of re-scamming past victims through a “refund scam” in which they falsely claimed to have accidently over-refunded victims, and then convinced those victims to repay the difference by sending money overseas. As a part of its mission, BBB is committed to the issue of cybersecurity awareness. During Cybersecurity Awareness Month this past October, BBB released the results of an extensive study into the topic, titled The State of Small Business Cybersecurity in North America. In addition, BBB works to protect consumers in the Denver/Boulder area and worldwide from cybercrime by frequently investigating and publicizing instances of online fraud. BBB is also committed to working closely with regulatory and law enforcement agencies. In the case of BCP Techs, BBB serving Denver/Boulder provided the Texas Office of the Attorney General with information relevant to the case, per the Office’s request. BBB encourages consumers who believe they have been scammed by BCP Techs to submit a complaint on the company’s online Business Profile. The company is currently F-rated (as acknowledged by the Texas AG’s petition for injunction). As always, BBB recommends that consumers make sure they are protected online, either by consulting one of BBB’s many resources on the subject or by finding a reputable (preferably BBB Accredited) cybersecurity business through the Better Business Bureau website or mobile app.