The FTC says that a court has halted a massive “scareware” scheme that falsely claims that your computer is infected with viruses, spyware and illegal pornography.
The FTC says that over a million consumers have been tricked into paying for computer security products based on these bogus scans.
The products involved are WinFixer, WinAntivirus, DriveCleaner, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus.
Here’s how the FTC describes the scam:
According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants used an elaborate ruse that duped Internet advertising networks and popular Web sites into carrying their advertisements. The defendants falsely claimed that they were placing Internet advertisements on behalf of legitimate companies and organizations. But due to hidden programming code that the defendants inserted into the advertisements, consumers who visited Web sites where these ads were placed did not receive them. Instead, consumers received exploitive advertisements that took them to one of the defendants’ Web sites. These sites would then claim to scan the consumers’ computers for security and privacy issues. The “scans” would find a host of purported problems with the consumers’ computers and urge them to buy the defendants’ computer security products for $39.95 or more. However, the scans were entirely false.
To learn more about “scareware” scams, check out this link from the FTC.
For real anti-virus software check out this post from Lifehacker.