Amazon Wins Court Crackdown on Alleged Alexa Tech-Support Scam | #phishing | #scams

A Washington company accused of using Inc.‘s trademarks to “perpetuate a widespread tech support fraud” involving Alexa-enabled devices must pay the online retailer $5 million after failing to find new counsel, a federal court in the state ruled.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington said it warned Robojap Technologies LLC and its Indian affiliate Quatic Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. that its failure to find representation would lead to a default. The company didn’t act, and Amazon sought default judgment in October.

Multiple factors weighed in favor of granting Amazon’s request at this stage of the case, the court said Wednesday. Amazon faces prejudice by not being able to get relief, the online retailer’s claims have merit, and there’s no evidence that Quatic’s failure to oppose default is because of excusable neglect, the court said.

Robojap and Quatic used websites and mobile apps that impersonated the Alexa app and tricked users to calling a fake customer support line, the lawsuit said. The users then paid hundreds of dollars to activate devices like the Echo smart speaker, the lawsuit said.

Quatic provided the infrastructure, and Robojap provided the means to collect the funds, the lawsuit said. The scheme netted the companies nearly $1.8 million, according to the complaint.

Amazon’s request for $1 million for the willful infringement of each of the five marks at issue is appropriate, the court said. The retailer’s request for an additional $50,000 for cybersquatting is also appropriate considering the “willfulness of Quatic’s behavior,” the court said.

Judge Marsha J. Pechman ordered the companies to stop using counterfeit versions of Amazon’s trademarks. Perchman also barred the companies from defrauding people into paying money for Amazon services and registering website domain names or apps that involve Amazon’s registered trademarks.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP represented Amazon.

The case is Inc. v. Robojap Techs. LLC, W.D. Wash., No. 2:20-cv-00694, 11/10/21.

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