If you purchased computer repair products and services from retail chain Office Depot, you might be getting a check in the mail.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending refund checks totaling more than $34 million to consumers who allegedly were tricked by Office Depot, Inc. and a software provider into buying computer repair products and services.
The government agency issued an announcement last week, and this paragraph explains what it alleges in a nutshell:
“Office Depot paid $25 million while its software supplier, Support.com, Inc., paid $10 million as part of 2019 settlements with the FTC. The FTC alleged that Office Depot and Support.com configured a virus scanning program to report that it found symptoms of malware or infections – even when that was not true – whenever consumers answered yes to at least one of four “diagnostic” questions. The false scan results were then used to persuade consumers to purchase computer repair and technical services that could cost hundreds of dollars.”
The FTC explained it will send checks to over 541,000 people who paid for repairs and technical services when they took their computers to Office Depot or Office Max stores between 2009 and November 2016 for a free “PC Health Check.”
The average amount of the checks is $63.35.
Knowing that such cases can provide fraudsters with opportunities to trick businesses and consumers, the FTC warned: “The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.”
You can find the full announcement on the FTC.gov website.