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Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Back issues
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Class Claims Free PC Virus Scan Is a Fraud

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A company designed its free virus scan software to exaggerate computer errors in order to lure customers into buying the full product, according to a federal class action.

James LaGarde claims Sammsoft's Advanced Registry Optimizer overstates the existence and severity of computer errors while performing a free scan of user's computers.

Sammsoft allows customers to download the software and perform a free diagnostic scan that detects errors the program can fix. The company then offers to fix 100 of the detected errors for free but requires customers to buy the full, registered version to fix the remaining problems.

LaGarde sued Sammsoft on behalf of a class of other people in the United States who bought the product based on the false representations. The class alleges breach of contract and express and implied warranties and unjust enrichment. According to the suit, Sammsoft boasts that over ten million users worldwide have downloaded the software.

He claims Sammsoft intentionally designed the Advanced Registry Optimizer to misrepresent and exaggerate not only the existence and severity of errors but also the overall system and security status of the scanned personal computer, "regardless of the actual condition of the computer to induce the consumer to purchase the software."

He went on to say that Sammsoft lulls users who buy the product outright without first doing the free scan into a "false sense of security" that the software is honestly and accurately detecting and removing or repairing credible errors and security threats. The real value of the product, "stripped of these artifices, is much less than reflected in its purchase price."

LaGarde paid $29.95 for the product.

He said because average customers lack technical expertise to understand the underlying functions in the software they trust Sammsoft to honestly describe the usefulness of its products and design its product to accurately report errors.

The company "betrayed that trust, and as a result, millions of consumers have been tricked into paying for its Advanced Registry Optimizer software," added.

The class is represented by Sean Reis of Edelson McGuire of Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

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