back to article FTC settles with scareware scammers on reduced terms

US consumer watchdogs at the Federal Trade Commission have agreed to settle a lawsuit against rogue security software distributors on reduced terms. James Reno and ByteHosting Internet Services were found responsible for distributing scareware products that used underhanded methods. The scam foisted software of no utility on …


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  1. Tam Lin

    Useless, overpriced software. Trivial fines.

    Are you quite sure you didn't mix them up with Microsoft?

  2. Mike 61

    What they should get

    Is at least six months in a federal supermax prison. And we all know what a couple of nice soft white collar criminals would get in there. What they deserve!

  3. Chris C

    not a deterrent

    "The defendants - found responsible for tricking more than a million punters into buying rogue products including WinAntivirus, ErrorSafe, and XP Antivirus - were ordered to pay $1.9m last year. ... Reno pleaded poverty, so the FTC has agreed to take $116K to settle the case ... the whole scam might have easily netted more than $50m ... [$116K] is only a tiny percentage of this and therefore not much of a deterrent against future would-be scareware moguls."

    I'd go further than that. I would say that this "settlement" will actually encourage others to do the same thing. This is further proof that crime most certainly does pay, and it pays very well. This is also further proof that the FTC is nothing but an ineffectual bureaucracy which should be shut down (as if the Rambus issue didn't show that well enough). I find this "settlement" more insulting than ignoring the issue entirely.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I for one

    welcome a spinless FTC overlord that's willing to settle for mere pennies on the dollar.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Stealing a $0.99 cent song from a corporation = $80,000, stealing a regular persons money and time $0.10

    we understand your message loud and clear. I for one do not welcome our government corporate lackey overlords.

  6. DrJaymansLoveCookie

    No title required

    Swindle people out of millions with fake software: $116 thou

    Upload a few songs to share: $1.92 Million

    Justice_System = FAIL;

  7. AlfieUK


    Having removed countless counterfeit 'you have a virus, pay us to remove it' scams from friend's PCs I would have hoped that they would have the book thrown at them for pure and simple theft, i.e. 'obtaining money by deception'.

    I believe that in the US this can be an average 12 month prison sentence, usually deferred (with a fine of full earnings from the scam), but would at least make other scammers cautious about such activities.

    Another [FAIL] for our overlords protecting the unwary from online scammers :(

  8. Adam White

    White collar crime and punishment, American style

    The verdict: guilty

    The sentence: promise not to do it again

  9. EnricoSuarve

    Great News

    Anyone want ot join me writing the next "Oooh Noos your PC is gonna go bang" application?

    Apparently as long as we budget 10% to pay off the courts we'll be fine and that still leaves a massive margin for profit and win

  10. Frank Bitterlich
    Paris Hilton

    I don't get it...

    I don't get the U.S. justice system. They're paying roughly twice the amount Jammie Thomas will pay. And it's not that unlikely that they made a seven- or eight-digit profit from this. WTF?

    What's the message here? Crime pays, but only if you do it by the millions?

  11. tuna 1

    Profitable Business Model

    White collar crime does pay in Amerika!

    Once again, I am proud of our US legal system, where justice is available to all who can afford it.

    1)steal millions $$$

    2)pay a fraction % in fines and legal


    4)repeat... unless you promised not to. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*

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