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September 14th, 2012


racquathink in nortonreview

Loathe lowdown scareware scams? Lawsuit claims Speedy PC Pro is fraudulent software

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/81388   

There are "scary" lawsuits and then there's scareware. SpeedyPC, which falsely claims to be a Microsoft Partner, has been named in a lawsuit for 'fraudulently inducing people to buy fraudulent software that supposedly speeds up and protects computers.'
By Ms. Smith on Wed, 09/12/12 - 8:26pm.
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Browsing courthouse news can result in reading about "scary" allegations, lawsuits covering everything from people "wrongfully" arrested at a "haunted house" during a paranormal investigation, to a more serious class action lawsuit that, if true, clearly shows the company doesn't comprehend that gamers come in ages. Mosaic Sales Solutions, a sales company that "demonstrates Microsoft video game products," requires job applicants to "submit pictures of themselves and won't hire older candidates who do not 'reflect the Kinect and Xbox image.'" It supposedly favors "Generation Y" applicants, so anyone over age 40 stands no chance of being hired. However, it was the lawsuit about scareware that really caught my eye, because who knows how many tens of millions of people have been tricked by such cyber-scam software. Don't you just loathe lowdown scareware scammers?
You know the type of software that supposedly will help clean an infection from a PC or speed it up, that when downloaded, manages to come up with a huge list of malware infection threats or Windows registry errors that are not true. It "scares" the user into paying for the software to remove supposed threats. Scareware is especially offensive to me, promising to fix a problem that didn't usually exist in the first place. Too many people who really don't have a clue about security are duped into believing and paying for software that lied to acquire that customer. The FBI has repeatedly busted scareware distributors that have fleeced the frightened into paying out countless millions.
Under a sub-header called "Bogus," the Courthouse News Service reported:
Speedy PC Pro Software fraudulently induces people to buy fraudulent software that supposedly speeds up and protects computers, a class action claims in Federal Court.
The claims include [PDF] that after Speedy PC Pro's "free" scanner checked the plaintiff's computer, it found "thousands" of errors ranging from "viruses, malware and privacy threats" and buried the warning gauge needles into the red "critical" stages. It also warned her that "these problems were decreasing her computer's performance and compromising her security" and "urgently needed repair." She tried clicking "Fix All" but was told "SpeedyPC Pro detected some problems that need to be fixed," and was instructed to "Register SpeedyPC Pro now!" So she coughed up 40 bucks to find out it allegedly didn't work as advertised, and that the "free scan" gives everyone such "critical" and "urgent" errors. She is now suing SpeedyPC "for its practice of defrauding consumers."
The plaintiff's attorney points out other scareware scam lawsuits from SpeedyPC competitors, like "Symantec Corp and AVG Technologies" have alleged "similar claims related to the fraudulent design and marketing of so-called utility software products. Several of those cases have resulted in class-wide settlements and industry-shaping software modifications, which compel the implementation of far more transparent error detection and reporting procedure." But many such "reputable" firms have tried scareware tactics that are disgusting!