The FTC has delivered what could be a landmark judgment on a certain kind of internet scam where unsuspecting users are duped into paying cash to protect their computer from viruses that aren't actually on it.
The penalty: $163 million. The crime? Using something called “Scareware.” This particular Internet scam delivers fake popups saying, “you’ve got a virus,” followed by a prompt to solve the problem and clean up your computer with the help of your credit card. Of course, once you’re that far, they’re quite possibly helping you dissassemble your computer’s security system as well. This week, the FTC is continuing a multinational crackdown on this particular kind of scam, shutting off phone lines and cutting off bank accounts.
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