HIGH TECH SCAM: He allegedly called subscribers using various telephone numbers from a variety of area codes that displayed the Dish name on caller ID screens.
FAKE ACCOUNTS: He used aliases, such as “Richard Bates” or “Terry James,” the complaint states, and he also used agents to make calls on his behalf.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT NEW YORK: Dish Network Sues Yonkers Man And District Judge Vincent Briccetti Grants Summary Judgment
Dish Network says a Yonkers man has posed as a company representative to trick customers into paying him for unnecessary services.
Dish, a satellite pay-television provider based in Englewood, Colorado, sued Imtiyaz Siddiqi for $2 million in federal court in White Plains on May 17.
Siddiqi orchestrated a telemarketing scheme, the complaint states, “for the purpose of extracting payments from Dish’s subscribers.”
Dish claims that Siddiqi has been defrauding its customers since at least early 2016.
The scam, as described in the complaint, rested on three key steps.
First, he had to persuade customers that if their equipment were not upgraded or adjusted, at their expense, they would lose television programming. He instructed them to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, “further conveying his false association with Dish.”
Second, he had to trick Dish into dispatching a technician, the complaint states, “to impart an air of legitimacy to his scheme.” So he allegedly called the company while posing as subscribers asking for upgrades or equipment adjustments.
Third, he would recontact subscribers “again and again demanding payment and threatening to shut off their Dish services if payment was not made.”
He instructed customers to send payments to a Yonkers post office box, according to the complaint, or pay by credit card or debit card.
The scam worked hundreds of times, the complaint claims, and typically netted $150 per incident. In some cases, Dish installed new equipment.
Sometimes, the subscriber terminated the contract.
In reality, the callers were masquerading as Dish agents and the addresses to which the callers told Dish’s subscribers to mail payments both belong to Imtiyaz Siddiqi.
The lawsuit does not explain how Siddiqi identified Dish subscribers.
The evidence was so strong that the court granted plaintiff’s unopposed motion for partial summary judgment on its contributory trademark infringement claims, determining that defendant knew or was willfully blind to the fact that the callers were infringing plaintiff’s DISH marks, and still continued to prove payment processing services for an infringing purpose.
In addition, the court found that defendant participated in, and shared control over, the scheme to use the DISH marks to turn a profit.
Brian Harrod is the publisher and editor of the RoundupNewswires.com news website, which powers the hyper local Yonkers Newswire news and social media pages. You can learn more about Mr. Harrod at BrianHarrod.com