A tech company submitted fake customers reviews in an effort gain accreditation with the Better Business Bureau the agency said.

The BBB is alerting consumers to exercise caution when doing business with Louisville-based tech support company Tech Scholars.

In a release, the BBB said the company submitted nearly 20 false customer reviews in an effort to become approved as an Accredited Business. Multiple consumers have also accused the business of using practices that are similar to those of tech support scams, which use computer pop-ups to trick victims into paying for unnecessary cybersecurity software and services, the BBB said.

In March, a representative from Tech Scholars, LLC contacted BBB to inquire about becoming an Accredited Business and was informed that Tech Scholars would not become eligible to apply until mid-May due to BBB’s time-in-business requirements.

Since then, BBB received 19 positive reviews regarding Tech Scholars, all submitted using the same IP address. BBB contacted two “reviewers” using the contact information provided; the first person had never heard of Tech Scholars, and the second had indeed paid for the company’s services but said she did not submit a review to BBB.

BBB noticed the false reviews before Tech Scholars had formally applied for accreditation, and the suspicious reviews have been removed from Tech Scholar’s Business Profile.

The agency also received reports from at least two consumers who claim that Tech Scholars solicited them to pay for cybersecurity services after their computers began having issues and the company’s contact information appeared on their screens.

This is of concern because BBB routinely reports on tech support scams that use similar methods to entice victims into paying for unnecessary software and services. Through these scams, cybercriminals may also gain access to victims’ personal information by accessing their desktops remotely, and sometimes leave their computers more vulnerable to viruses by uninstalling existing security software and replacing it with free programs found online.

One complainant said he paid Tech Scholars $700 to fix his computer, but now believes he was scammed.

BBB encourages consumers who believe they have encountered a tech support scam to submit a complaint with BBB.

Tech Scholars LLC was registered with the Colorado Secretary of State in November 2017 and is currently in good standing. The company is F-rated with BBB due to consumers’ fraud allegations.

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