Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Yet another reminder why you must be cautious when downloading software: We announced a settlement today with an Internet affiliate advertiser who sent anonymous “Net Send” messages to consumers’ computers. The pop-up messages simulated security warnings but were actually ads for registry-cleaner software. Hundreds of Washington consumers bought the product in order to rid their PCs of "critical errors" that sometimes were harmless. This is the fifth lawsuit filed by our Consumer Protection High-Tech Unit under the state’s Computer Spyware Act passed in 2005.

You should only accept downloads from reputable businesses and regularly update your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Read the small print on customer agreements and legal disclaimers to make sure you're only paying for what you want.

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