It”s a bad month for scammers and one scammer in particular. Mr. Ron Cooke has been accused by the Washington Attorney General”s Office of persuading users to buy popup-blocking software after having bombarded them with as ominous Viagra and porn popups as they come.
Not only that, but apparently Cooke”s rogue programs – Messanger Blocker, WinAntiVirus Pro 2007, System Doctor and WinAntiSpyware – would further victimize the users, by making their systems distribute spam to other PCs at a rate of one every two seconds.
According to Attorney General Rob McKenna, Cooke violated Washington’s Computer Spyware Act and Consumer Protection Act by transmitting malicious software, attempting to coerce consumers into purchasing software, misrepresenting the necessity of software for security purposes and deceptively causing consumers to violate the Computer Spyware Act.
The investigation began when a computer in High-Tech Unit”s lab received ads through Windows Messenger Service (not to be confused with Windows Live Messenger). Windows Messenger Service is mostly used to send notifications to users in a network. Windows XP SP2 and Vista users don”t have this option. The problem is that Cooke”s software is very difficult to remove and disables Task Manager.
The state’s complaint requests injunctive provisions to stop the deceptive behavior, civil penalties and refunds for consumers.