by Mike Masnick
Tue, Sep 30th 2008 6:54pm
For years, questionable "software" firms would buy up ads that pretended to look like computer warning messages telling you that your computer was at risk. Then there were scamming companies that would include a web-based "test" of your computer to see if it was at risk -- and, of course, it always found that you were. The scam is just to get you to download (and buy) their software which rarely does anything (and most of the time you don't need it). The FTC had cracked down on these companies a while back, but it appears at least some are still in business. Washington state is now suing a software company that apparently did something similar sending messages to computer users claiming "CRITICAL ERROR!" and demanding that they download the company's product immediately to repair the problem. Of course, there was almost never an actual problem... but the software cost $40.
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