13 Dec 2011

Fake antivirus software buyers get refund

For those who were scammed into buying fake antivirus software, you may be in luck. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has started issuing refunds to users who have purchased scareware from vendors who are trying to scam people out of money.

"Starting this week, more than 300,000 consumers who were victims of a 'scareware' scam will receive refunds resulting from Federal Trade Commission settlements with Innovative Marketing and other parties involved in the scheme," the FTC said in a press release. "Several defendants agreed to surrender more than $8 million total in ill-gotten gains to settle FTC charges that they used deceptive ads to trick consumers into thinking their computers were infected with viruses or spyware and then sold them software programs such as Winfixer, Drive Cleaner, and XP Antivirus to 'fix' their non-existent problem."

Checks will average about $20 per person and must be cashed within 60 days, the FTC said. The exact amount for each check depends on how much the person lost in the transaction with the scammers.
People who believed they have been scammed by one of these fake antivirus programs should visit www.FTC.gov/refunds for information on the payout.