(The Hosting News) – A former Scareware ring leader will have to dig deep in her pockets to account for her actions. On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced a $163 million judgement against Kristy Ross who was found guilty along with six others for what the FTC said was “conning more than one million consumers into buying software to remove malware supposedly detected by computer scans.”
Scareware is used by online scammers to falsely trick online victims into believing that their systems are infected with computers viruses.
The case itself goes back to 2008 when Ross and other defendants allegedly charged consumers prices ranging between 40 and 60 dollars after users were directed to fake computer scans via online advertisements.
“Messages telling you to install and update security software for your computer seem to be everywhere. So you might be tempted by an offer of a “free security scan,” especially when faced with a pop-up, an email, or an ad that claims “malicious software” has already been found on your machine. Unfortunately, it’s likely that the scary message is a come-on for a rip-off,” warns the FTC via a consumer alert.
Others in the case, meanwhile, previously reached settlements last year. A father and son duo involved were forced to pay $8.2 in what the FTC described as “ill-gotten gains.” That price, however, was nothing compared to the new settlement accounting for $163 million.
The FTC’s announcement shortly preceded another big move in which the agency announced it had halted the actions of several fake tech companies mostly based in India.