It’s been a busy week for the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection High-Tech Fraud Unit, which announced three wins this week alone.
- Today, a King County Superior Court Judge found that Internet affiliate advertisers Securelink Networks, LLC, and NJC Softwares, LCC, and their officers violated Washington’s consumer protection and spyware laws while marketing registry-cleaner software. The defendants were accused of using Net Send messages and deceptive free scans to market each other’s products, including Registry Sweeper Pro, Registry Rinse, Registry Doc, Registry Cleaner 32 and Registry Cleaner Pro.
“Some people say you can’t police the Internet but today’s court ruling proves we can,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said. “We’ve reached another victory in our crusade to make the Internet a safer place for consumers and a fair, competitive environment for business.”
Our High-Tech folks have brought a total of six lawsuits under Washington’s Computer Spyware Statute since the law was approved by the Legislature in 2005. “Our Consumer Protection High-Tech Fraud Unit’s record speaks volumes. Assistant Attorney General Katherine Tassi, who led this case, has a black belt in kung fu and another in fraud fighting,” McKenna said.
- Wednesday, we announced a settlement with online freebie promoters SubscriberBASE Holdings, Inc., of Columbia, S.C., and SubscriberBASE, Inc. The companies promised consumers “free” big-ticket items such as high-definition televisions, digital cameras and laptops, but consumers had to pay more than the items were worth in order to receive them. We alleged the businesses really were after consumers’ personal information that they could sell to marketers.
- And Tuesday, we reached a settlement with Cheapest-Magz, a defunct business that sold magazines on eBay, and its owners. They agreed to refund Washington consumers who paid anywhere from $5 to several hundred dollars for subscriptions to publications such as Newsweek, Computer Shopper, Oprah, Golf Digest, Wired, TV Guide, Sporting News, Muscle and Fitness and Details, but never received their orders.
Whew! Needless to say, our Consumer Protection and Public Affairs staff are looking forward to the weekend!