September 1, 2014

FTC To Give Refunds to 300,000 Victims of Scareware

(LiveHacking.Com) - Following a settlement with Innovative Marketing and other parties involved in the Winfixer, Drive Cleaner, and XP Antivirus scareware schemes, the Federal Trade Commission is to start giving refunds to the victims.

The settlement, which is worth more than $8 million, was reached after the defendants agreed to hand over the money they gained from scaring users with deceptive ads making them think their computers were infected with malware. Once hooked the users then bought bogus software to fix their non-existent problem.

Approximately 320,000 checks, for an average of $20, will be mailed by the FTC’s settlement administrator, Epiq Systems. Consumers have 60 days to cash the cheques.

Microsoft have published a list of product names (as detected by their antimalware programs) that are linked to the Winfixer family:

Program:Win32/AdvancedCleaner 
Program:Win32/Antivirus2008
Program:Win32/Antivirus2009
Program:Win32/SpywareIsolator
Program:Win32/WinFixer
Program:Win32/WinSpywareProtect
Trojan:Win32/Antivirusxp

As well as paying out $8,272,962, Marc D’Souza (owner of Innovative Marketing) is permanently banned from marketing and selling computer security software or any software which fiddles with web browser homepages or security settings.