FBI Targets Two 'Scareware' Rings in U.S., Europe
Police in the United States and seven other countries seized computers and servers used to run a "scareware" scheme that has netted more than $72 million from victims tricked into buying fake anti-virus software.
Twenty-two computers and servers were seized in the United States and 25 others in France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement on Wednesday.
The suspects involved in the scheme, who were not identified, planted "scareware" on the computers of 960,000 victims. The scareware would pretend to find malicious software on a computer. The goal is to persuade the victim to voluntarily hand over credit card information, paying to resolve a nonexistent problem.
Latvian authorities seized at least five bank accounts believed to have been used by the leaders of the scam, and the Justice Department said nothing about arrests.
U.S. authorities also said on Wednesday they disrupted a second scam, charging two Latvians with running a similar scareware scheme that led to $2 million in losses through an advertisement placed on a Minnesota newspaper's website.