FTC Reimburses Fake Antivirus Scam Victims

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-12-10

In the "How Cool is This?" files, the Federal Trade Commission has decided to send reimbursement checks to more than 300,000 people who have been victims of a rogue antivirus scam.

The checks are the result of a settlement between the agency and several defendants named in a complaint file by the FTC in 2008. Innovative Marketing and other defendants used deceptive ads to trick customers into thinking their computers had been infected with malware and sold fake antivirus products for $40 to $60 apiece to fix these fictional issues, according to the FTC.

The settlement was for more than $8 million. Consumers who receive checks must cash them within 60 days, and the average check will be for $20, according to the FTC, although "exact amounts will be based on the amount of individual loss."

"The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed," the agency said.

While fake antivirus scams appear to be on the decline, perhaps due to recent arrests by United States law enforcement, McAfee and Kaspersky Lab recently noted a resurgence and that the scammers are getting better at mimicking the real software's look and feel.

Consumers who believe they are entitled to a refund or have any questions about the settlement may call 1-877-853-3541 or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds for more information.

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