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Office Depot pays $35 million over claims it lied to customers about malware infections
Posted On March 30, 2019
Office Depot and its software supplier, Support.com, have paid $35 million to the FTC over allegations of faked malware reports that tricked customers into paying millions of dollars in computer repairs.
According to the FTC, Office Depot (and Office Max, which merged with Office Depot in 2013) used a program called “PC Health Check,” which claimed to be a free tool offering a check-up to help diagnose if there were any problems or malware plaguing a device.
But instead of running actual malware scans, the FTC says that the program was set to automatically inform customers that they had malware on their devices if they answered yes to any of the four questions about crashes, pop-ups, slow speeds, or viruses. The program would then provide a “view recommendation” prompt, offering tech services from Office Max and Support.com to fix the “problems,” which could cost up to hundreds of dollars.