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Judge bans company's deceptive anti-spyware claims

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The Federal Trade Commission in the US has won an preliminary injunction against Trustsoft, freezing the company's assets and preventing it from making deceptive claims about its anti-spyware product. A district court judge in Texas issued the order, which the FTC is seeking to have made permanent.

The FTC alleges that Trustsoft used deceptive means to advertise its SpyKiller product, by claiming to have scanned consumers' computers, when in fact no such scan had taken place.

Once the SpyKiller product was downloaded and a real scan begun, a status box appeared identifying "live spyware processes", the FTC says. The programs identified, however, were not spyware, but anti-virus products, word processors and other non-dangerous programs. Once the scan was completed, consumers had to pay $40 to activate SpyKiller's spyware removal program.

Further, the FTC says Trustsoft violated the CAN-CPAM act by sending promotional email that did not identify itself as advertising, had false "from" addresses, provided no valid postal address and no option to opt-out of the mailing list.

The FTC is now seeking redress for consumers from Trustsoft and its principal, Danilo Ladendorf. ®

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