Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/12/scareware_scam_refunds/

Fake anti-virus victims in line for slice of $8m payout pie

Scareware swindlers' ill-gotten gains shared out by FTC

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 12th December 2011 15:04 GMT

US watchdogs plan to refund victims of scareware scams using seized assets from fake anti-virus peddler Innovative Marketing.

More than 300,000 consumers, taken in by a scam that warned them they needed to purchase dodgy software to get rid of non-existent security threats, are in line to get a slice of $8 million forfeited by Innovative Marketing.

The firm agreed surrender the ill-gotten gains to settle FTC (Federal Trade Commission) charges that they used deceptive ads to trick marks into buying scareware packages such as Winfixer, Drive Cleaner, and XP Antivirus.

The average amount of the cheques to be distributed will be $20, however the exact amounts will be based on the level of individual loss. The refund programme itself may become the target of scam emails attempting to hoodwink victims into advanced fee fraud.

Mindful of this possibility the FTC makes it clear that it "never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed". More information on the refund programme can be found here.

More details on the FTC case against Innovative Marketing, which was settled back in January, can be found here. ®