Nearly $2 Million
will be plunked down by two “anti-spyware” operators who have been found to be using devious tactics to encourage people to purchase their products. TrustSoft was found using what is now a fairly common tactic, generating fake e-mail or pop-up warnings that indicate a persons machine is infected (kind of like those animated “performance monitors” you see as ads on some web pages), and then telling them it can all be cured for the low low price of $39.95. The software in particular is “SpyKiller”, though I'm sure the problem lied within the deception not the product itself.
"Two operations that promoted spyware detection products by making bogus claims have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that their claims were deceptive and violated federal law," said the FTC. "The settlements require the defendants to give up a total of nearly $2m in ill-gotten gains, and prohibit deceptive claims."
The other member of this hefty fine is “MaxTheater”, company behind “Spyware Assassin”, who will be paying a fractional amount of that $2 Million, for similar tactics. The conditions of the settlement also require both companies from “making deceptive claims”. Basically, no more fear-mongering, though there is so much of that on the net to begin with that it's really a drop in the bucket.