We have all gotten those annoying ads that use a “scareware” scheme to try and convince you that your computer is infected with a virus. You navigate to a page only to find a popup that appears to be scanning your computer and finding multiple problems. FTC has gone and put an end to this scam and the five anti-virus programs that were involved.
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.
The products that are responsible for the scam include, WinFixer, WinAntivirus, DriveCleaner, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus. We are told that over one million users have been “duped” by the programs listed above. The bottom line is, you need to get this software off of your computer if you happen to be one of these people. We suggest that you get a good reliable anti-virus program as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.