Bogus Spyware Vendors Settle FTC Charges


The operators of two supposed antispyware products agreed to pay nearly $2 million to settle complaints by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that the products amounted to nothing more than a scam. Last year, the FTC charged the operators of Spykiller and Spyware Assassin with running similar schemes to defraud consumers. According to the FTC, both companies used pop-up ads and e-mail to draw consumers to the companies' Web sites, where users could supposedly receive free scans of their machines. After the scans reported spyware, which frequently did not exist, users were offered a spyware-removal service for around $30-40. The removal also did not do what was advertised, said the FTC.In addition, many of the e-mail messages violated provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act. The makers of Spyware Assassin agreed to pay $76,000, which represents the amount the FTC spent on its investigation. Makers of Spykiller will pay $1.9 million.

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