FTC offers fake AV scam victims 20 rebate checks

first_imgEver heard of Innovative Marketing? Probably not, but about three years ago the company found itself in hot water with the FTC for pushing fake antivirus software. Their bogus titles included some of the biggest in fake AV history, like WinAntivirus and XP Antivirus — as well as DriveCleaner, ErrorFixer, and many other unscrupulous apps. The FTC even put together a consumer alert page designed to help folks learn to identify scareware distributed by lowlifes like Innovative and keep themselves from become infected and victimized financially.In December of 2008, a U.S. District Court judge ordered Innovative Marketing and their partner ByteHosting Internet Services to halt operations. By then, more than a million victims had been fleeced.There’s a silver lining in the cloud today, however, for 320,000 of those unfortunate folks. The FTC has secured an $8.3 million settlement payment from two of the defendants named in the Innovative/ByteHosting case. In a somewhat unexpected move, the FTC is turning around and giving that money back to victims. The average “refund” will be about $20, and the precise amount will be scaled according to the amount of money an individual originally lost. They won’t receive the full amount that they were conned out of, and it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $150 million the FBI claimed fake AV victims had lost way back in 2009 —  but it’s something.Checks have to be cashed within 60 days, so if you receive one make sure you head to the bank as quickly as possible. The FTC is also careful to point out that consumers should be wary of rebate scams that claim to require verification of personal details or a small up-front payment before a check can be issued. Yes, scammers will even jump on a publicly-announced FTC consumer protection move like this if they think a few more hapless victims can be bilked out of some cash.More at FTC.Gov and Sophoslast_img

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