Accused Scareware Operators Settle with FTC for $8.2 Million
The Federal Trade Commission reached an $8.2 million settlement with the operator of a reputed scareware operation.The purported head of a rogue antivirus operation has agreed to pay roughly $8.2 million to the Federal Trade Commission to bring a 2-year-old case to a close. According to the FTC, Marc D'Souza and his father, Maurice D'Souza, will pay the money to settle accusations that they profited from a scheme to scam consumers with promises of bogus security software. Marc D'Souza was named as a key player in the operation by the FTC, while his father did not participate directly but is believed by the FTC to have profited from the scheme.
The duo did business under a variety of company names, including Innovative Marketing and ByteHosting Internet Services, LLC, and maintained offices in multiple countries, the agency said. According to the FTC (PDF), the defendants used online ads to offer customers a system scan. The scan would turn up malware on the person's computer and urge them to purchase bogus antivirus software for $40 to $60 to fix the problems, the FTC said.