FTC Files Lawsuit Against Fake Antivirus Software, Alleging Millions in Scam Revenue

US FTC Files Lawsuit Against Fake Antivirus Software, Alleging Millions in Scam Revenue

Key Points:

  • FTC filed a lawsuit against Restoro and Reimage antivirus software, accused of misrepresentation and violating telemarketing rules.
  • Software falsely identifies security issues on users’ computers to pressure them into purchasing unnecessary repair tools.
  • Restoro and Reimage originate from Cyprus and have allegedly scammed consumers out of “tens of millions” of dollars.
  • FTC warns consumers, especially older individuals, to be cautious of fake antivirus products and advises thorough research before purchasing.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken legal action against two antivirus software products, Restoro and Reimage, labeling them as fake products that have purportedly deceived consumers out of “tens of millions” of dollars. The lawsuit, filed by the government agency, accuses the software of falsely identifying security issues on users’ computers and then pressuring them into purchasing unnecessary repair tools.

FTC investigators conducted undercover operations, purchasing the purportedly malicious software four times. In each instance, the software falsely alerted users to nonexistent viruses and security issues, prompting them to believe their computers were in dire need of repair. One Restoro scan claimed a staggering 522 issues with the test computer, while a Reimage scan allegedly found 1,244 so-called “issues,” described as various PC privacy, junk file, and registry issues. However, the complaint asserts that these issues were fabricated as part of a scheme to sell fraudulent repair tools.

Upon installation, users were prompted to call a phone number to activate the software. The FTC alleges that this activation process was also deceptive, as callers were further upsold on additional computer repair services over the phone.

According to the FTC, Restoro and Reimage originate from the same location in Cyprus. The agency claims that the software creators have deceived customers into spending significant sums of money, resulting in numerous credit card chargeback requests and online complaints labeling the products as scams.

In addition to the FTC’s legal action, Visa raised concerns about fraudulent behavior associated with the software in 2020, leading to the placement of one of the companies connected to Restoro on a watch list in 2021 due to a high volume of chargeback requests.

The FTC’s lawsuit accuses Restoro and Reimage of misrepresenting their products and violating U.S. telemarketing rules. The agency expresses concern that unless action is taken, the individuals behind the software will continue to harm consumers, particularly older individuals who may be more vulnerable to such scams.

While acknowledging the existence of legitimate antivirus products, the FTC advises consumers to exercise caution when encountering internet pop-ups or emails promoting antivirus software. Thorough research should always be conducted before purchasing any antivirus product.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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