The Final Chapter of The "Free PC Scan" Fraud Saga
Even when Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna concluded in January 2006 the settlement related to scammers using the infamous offers of "Free PC Scans" that pop up when using the Internet, the scam is still alive. At that time, defendant Paul E. Burke from Secure Computers, LLC, White Plains, NY, paid a $1,000,000 fine for offering "free spyware scans" that told users their systems had been infected with spyware, even if the system was clean.
Although the legal saga closed, with all the U.S. residents involved indicted, you are still likely to see similar pop-up windows from other imitators. Some "scans" do not just give misleading results; they actually install unwanted software on your PC. Almost all the screen Pop-Ups only have a "scan" button and no "cancel" or a red X "quit" option. Users must not open the virus warning Pop- Ups unless they are originating from their known installed anti- virus or spy ware clients. Use the Pop-Up blocking option in your browser to prevent Pop-Ups to open without your approval.
In the settlement, Washington State residents who purchased the company's Spy Ware Cleaner software at $49.95 each, and in some cases, software called Popup Padlock, where eligible for refunds under the agreement filed in federal court. Three other individuals in the U.S.A. agreed to settlements. Another individual outside the U.S. was included in the fraudulent scheme as stated in the Washington State Attorney General Web Page.
We wonder why no one that settled went to jail for this alleged crime and concluded, it was wiser to settle, as it was done, by 1) Reimbursing the users the purchase price. 2) Removing the spy ware from the market at that time. 3) Precluding these people from operating again by strict rules. 4) Imposing stiff fines to the individuals. We where very pleased with the outcome at that time, but are worried at the recurrence of the same spy ware scam in year 2011 by other individuals.