(CN) – The FTC obtained a restraining order against Maurice D’Souza and Innovative Marketing, which, operating under a slew of names, allegedly used “scareware” to trick more than 1 million people into buying “computer security products” to protect them from viruses, pornography, spyware and other terrors.
The defendants also operated as Billingnow, Bill Planet, Globedat, Revenue Response, Synergy Software, Winpayment Consultancy, Winsecure Solutions, ByteHosting Internet Services, and on and on.
According to the federal complaint, the defendants duped Internet advertising networks and Web sites into carrying their ads. They claimed to be placing Internet ads on behalf of legitimate companies but inserted hidden programming code in the ads that took Web visitors to their own sites, where the visitors were offered free “computer scans,” which found alarming problems. The defendants told the suckers they had better pony up $39.95 or more to fix it, but the whole routine was fraudulent, the FTC says.