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One Million Conned into Buying Fake Clean-Up Software

By | Microsoft, news | No Comments
The woman behind a scareware con that tricked more than a million people into paying money to “fix” nonexistent problems with their computers has been fined $163 million by the Federal Trade Commission.

Kristy Ross was also permanently banned from selling security software or any other form of software that interferes with people’s PCs.

The case dates to 2008, when an elaborate scam used online ads to display a fake system-scan alert that claimed to find malware on users’ computers. The victims were then urged to buy software to fix the problem, costing between $40 and $60 each time, in order to clean up their PCs.

The FTC said that more than one million people were conned into buying the fake clean-up software with names such as WinFixer, WinAntivirus, DriveCleaner, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus.

The scareware con ran between 2000 and 2008, and the FTC estimated that Innovative Marketing, the company that promoted the fake software, took in more than $60 million in revenue over the years. The FTC investigation was prompted by some 3,000 complaints received over the scam.

A total of seven people faced charges in the FTC investigation, with two ordered to pay back $8.2 million in ill-gotten gains. Two people settled their cases and default judgments were made against the three other defendants.

However, the FTC’s action on Tuesday regarding Ross brought in the biggest judgment in the case, $163 million. Ross also was banned from any form of deceptive marketing. live – Email addresses going fast.

By | Microsoft | No Comments

Microsoft has launched, a new cloud-based email service to take on Gmail with integrated Skype video calling and social networking integration. Considerably more attractive – not to mention comprehensive – than Hotmail, which it replaces, supports easy access to attachment photo slideshows, integration with Office and SkyDrive, and support for Facebook Chat.

As you might expect, there’s also support to open, edit and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, and in fact those files can all be edited directly from the inbox. Facebook and LinkedIn contacts are automatically synchronized with the Outlook contacts.

Skype integration hasn’t been enabled yet – Microsoft describes the current service as a “preview” rather than the final release – but when it’s turned on it will allow for calls to Skype and Outlook users. Best of all, it won’t require Skype be installed on the system itself, working instead in the browser.

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn content will be pulled into the sidebar, and as for the inbox itself, there’s support for categories, folders, and rules. There’s also ActiveSync support for using with mobile devices. Introduction:

Hotmail users who want to switch to can do so by clicking “Upgrade” in the options menu, with their existing email address, password, contacts, old email, and rules unchanged; they’ll be able to send/receive email from their or or address, or indeed set up a new address.