Product Scams and False Advertisng: Trustsoft Spykiller

Product Scams: False Advertising, Misrepresentation, Exaggerated Claims and Scam Anti-Spyware Software: Spykiller by "TrustSoft"

You may have received an email or seen an advertisement for "Spykiller" on websites of affiliates, banner and pop-up ads, and spam. The email may have told you that they scanned your pc and found that it was infected. If you already had a good antivirus product installed and knew it wasn't, you may have thought that the advertising claims seemed patently false and exaggerated and wondered why the government was allowing them to get away with it.

In this case, Trustsoft, the makers of Spykiller, didn't! Below is the text of the FTC action against Trustsoft and Spykiller.

FTC announcement of the action against Trustsoft Spykiller, presented verbaitim, in its entirety. 

See this page for the original source on the Federal trade commission website:

The FTC alleges that to capitalize on legitimate consumer concerns about spyware and induce consumers to download its anti-spyware product, "SpyKiller," the operation aggressively and deceptively marketed SpyKiller, using the Web sites of affiliates, banner and pop-up ads, and spam.

The FTC alleges defendants sent pop-up and e-mail messages informing consumers that their computers had been remotely "scanned" and that spyware had been "detected" even though defendants had not performed any such scans. The defendants' marketing materials urged consumers to access the SpyKiller Web site to get a "free scan" for spyware. While the SpyKiller "scan" was running, the program displayed a status report entitled "Spyware Found on your PC:" that included a category called "Live Spyware Processes." In fact, the FTC alleges, this category deceptively identified anti-virus programs, word processing programs, or any of the processes running on the system as spyware.

Further Information

Copies of the documents mentioned in this news release are available from the FTC's Web site  and from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, click here or call 1-877-382-4357. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Frank Dorman,
Office of Public Affairs
Karen Jagielski,
Bureau of Consumer Protection

To see a list of other product cases click here.

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