The FTC alleged defendants told users their computers had been remotely "scanned" and spyware had been "detected" even though no such scan had been performed. The defendants then urged users to visit a website to get a "free scan" for spyware.
The scan (which itself was free) would inform users spyware had been "detected" even though no such scan had been performed. The "scan" in fact identified a number of legitimate programs, such as anti-virus and office applications, as spyware. Users were then encouraged to pay $39.95 to get their hands on SpyKiller's "removal" capabilities, and remove the "problem."