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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2008 @ 10:48pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    dragunkat, Dec 10th, 2008 @ 10:58pm

    Just a word of caution, some of the sites those ads point to contain some sort of spyware/malware, the best course of action is to use alt ctrl del and shut down the browser.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Ron, Dec 10th, 2008 @ 11:37pm

    I laugh when I see a "scan" done on my Ubuntu Linux box. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Crazy Coyote, Dec 11th, 2008 @ 2:34am

    You can earn a lot from a dummy

    Even more from a lot of dummies. It's good supplemental income for a retired tech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    zcat, Dec 11th, 2008 @ 2:50am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2008 @ 4:16am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, Dec 11th, 2008 @ 5:14am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Jasen Webster (profile), Dec 11th, 2008 @ 5:34am

    Glad to see the FTC is stepping in and taking action. As a computer tech, removing these rogue programs can be cumbersome as they often open doors for other forms of malware to infect the system.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2008 @ 7:12pm

    You rule, Jasen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2008 @ 7:17pm

    Are you related to Jason, from the Friday the 13TH movies?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    John L., Mar 16th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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