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Friday, December 12, 2008

Scareware Shutdown

The FTC was granted an injunction against two major "scareware" dealers, effectively banning them from advertising or distributing their fake software for now.

Innovative Marketing, Inc. and ByteHosting Internet Services, LLC were using false advertising to trick consumers into purchasing such programs as WinFixer, WinAntivirus, DriveCleaner, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus. Further, evidence was presented showing the companies had tricked websites into advertising their products.

"Scareware" ads pop-up, often flashing, informing the viewer that a virus, spyware, or even illegal pornography has been detected, and he needs to click now to remove it. It then leads the surfer to a site, where a fake "scan" appears to occur. The scan purports to detect all manner of ills, scaring the user into purchasing unnecessary and useless programs.

The FTC froze the assets of these two companies and requested the hosts of the websites shut them down. They estimate as many as 1 million US citizens - and many more, worldwide - have fallen prey to these tactics, spending millions on bogus software.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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