The fear of being hacked was allegedly the hook used by Office Depot, its subsidiary OfficeMax and a California-based tech-support vendor to dupe customers into paying for computer repair and technical services they didn’t need, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Although not admitting any wrongdoing, Office Depot and California-based Support.com have agreed to pay $35 million to settle the claim that they deceived customers into believing their computers were infected with malicious malware and vulnerable to other security threats.
The FTC alleged that, from at least 2009 to late 2016, the companies would offer customers a free “PC Health Check Program” to determine whether their computers had any performance problems.
But the real purpose of the checkup was to aggressively sell diagnostic and repair services to customers that, in many cases, they didn’t need, according to Claire Wack, an attorney in the FTC’s division of marketing practices and the lead attorney on the case.
Source: The Washington Post