Lake Worth man faces new order on phony FTC release, computer fixes

A Lake Worth man has been ordered to pay more than $52,000 and stop faking Federal Trade Commission press releases to sell useless tech support services.

An FTC complaint says this fake email press release was sent to consumers.

The FTC filed a complaint in April against Daniel L. Croft, doing business as PC Guru Tech Support and Elite Tech Support. Federal officials alleged he contacted consumers by email and used fake FTC press releases and the names of real agency staff members to trick consumers into contacting him so he could try to sell them unnecessary tech support services.

“The so-called ‘Federal Trade Commission Report’ is designed to look like a press release issued by the FTC and includes the FTC’s seal and motto, and even lists two FTC attorneys who work in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection,” the FTC’s complaint noted.

But the report was completely “bogus,” the complaint said.

Federal officials obtained a default judgment. An order issued July 20 by U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks in West Palm Beach imposes a fine and permanent injunction. Attempts to reach Croft for comment were not successful. There is no defense attorney listed in court records.

FTC: No, we did not hire Lake Worth ‘scammer’ to fix your computer

A Lake Worth man told consumers he was on a mission from the Federal Trade Commission to fix their computers by removing dangerous software, FTC officials said. Emails even looked like official press releases from the agency, complete with the real FTC seal and motto, they said.

Trouble was, it was utterly “bogus,” the agency said.

Federal officials announced Tuesday a judge has ordered a temporary injunction against Daniel L. Croft,  doing business as PC Guru Tech Support and Elite Tech Support.

According to the FTC, Croft sent fake press releases and spam messages saying it was his job to call people and remove tracking software from their computers.

U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks in West Palm Beach ordered the defendant to stop claiming he is affiliated with the FTC, to shut down his websites and phone numbers and tell customers who contact him that he is not affiliated with the agency.

The  injunction comes as the FTC pursues a lawsuit against Croft. A court document does not list an attorney for Croft and an attempt to reach him for comment was not successful.

“To lure consumers into opening the unsolicited emails, the Defendant states in the subject line of the emails that ‘spyware was put on your computer’ by one of two purported technical support companies whose services the consumer had previously used: Fast Fix 123 LLC or One Bit IT Co.,” an FTC complaint says.

The agency says if you got one of those messages, please tell the FTC.

PC support scams have been prosecuted for years in Palm Beach County. This effort features a follow-up twist, offering to “help” people hit by an earlier scheme.