FTC Shuts Down More Bogus Spyware Scan Companies

from the here-we-go-again dept

A few years back the FTC shut down some scam fake anti-spyware companies that would advertise “free scans” of your computer and would then (of course) tell you you had spyware. The scam, of course, was that for a fee of only $30 or $40, you could buy their “software” that would supposedly rid your computer of spyware. Of course, your computer probably didn’t already have spyware, and the software you bought certainly wouldn’t do anything towards ridding your computer of any actual spyware. It looks like some new scammers have picked up where the old ones left off, because the FTC is announcing, yet again, that it’s been able to shut down some bogus anti-spyware operations. Apparently, this operation was slightly more scammy, because advertising networks have stopped accepting ads for such bogus anti-spyware. So, instead, they pretended to place ads for legitimate companies, but then used some code to swap out the “good” ad with the bogus anti-spyware ad.

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Comments on “FTC Shuts Down More Bogus Spyware Scan Companies”

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11 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I actually got one of those pop-ups a few days ago (maybe a week), i had to pause for a second to realize whats was up, cause contrary to the old adds that showed in a browser window that one looked like a system/windows message (you know those Grey boxes that cant be minimized) then again was using IE6 instead of my trusty FF3 at the time.

zcat (profile) says:

bloody nusance

those “.* antivirus 2009” websites are a bloody nuisance even in ubuntu, they exploit flash and whatever else to make sure that every time you close a window another one opens. I’ve had to teach my wife to use ‘xkill’ to escape, she’s managed to hit the damn things twice already just searching for knitting patterns. I don’t really want to use flashblock though, since so many other websites she goes to depend on it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wow, I can’t ever remember getting a popup in ubuntu. Do you guys run a ad-blocker? You don’t have to block all the flash scripts that way.

Anyway, those ads are right, if you run windows unprotected, you probably have some spyware.

I always wonder if the reminder of these things ever makes windows users more concerned about security. Or do they just part with the $40 and figure they are safe.

Rich Kulawiec says:

Premature conclusion

If, and that’s a pretty big “if”, these companies are actually shut down, then the principals will shift locations, incorporate under a new name, and resume business-as-usual shortly. This action makes good press for the FTC, but it’s a complete yawner in terms of actually achieving anything useful in the long term.

It’s the same with their meaningless, token actions against junk faxes and spyware/adware companies and spammers. None of it has had the slightest effect on the problem — the only purpose for it is to generate positive PR for the bumbling, incompetent, lazy fools at the FTC.

John L. says:

I wonder how far these scams go…You stated that the software does not actually remove any spyware (of which there may not even be any), so clearly that is fraud. I am just wondering if the money they make off these fake sales is the end of it, or do they also steal the credit card information and wreak havoc with that? Regardless, I would advise everyone out there to install some quality antivirus software, and disregard ALL messages related to the safety of your computer that do not originate either from Windows (these can be hard to differentiate for beginners) or your antivirus of choice.

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