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Fake virus, real scam

March 28, 2019.

Office Depot in Midtown Manhattan, NYC.

Office Depot, Midtown Manhattan, NYC. © iStock.

Between 2009 and 2016, in the United States, Office Depot and OfficeMax stores graciously offered their clients a free computer health check-up, using the PC Health Check software developed by Support.com. Problem is, the software was designed to always detect a virus, whether the computer was infected or not. Many clients then purchased Office Depot’s or OfficeMax’s computer diagnostic and repair services, needlessly spending up to 300 USD. Office Depot even pressured its employees to reach weekly PC Health Check diagnosis targets. The Federal Trade Commission made Office Depot/OfficeMax and Support.com fork out 35 million dollars to compensate misled consumers.

Federal Trade Commission, “Office Depot computer scans gave fake results.”

Ars Technica, “Office Depot rigged PC malware scans to sell unneeded $300 tech support.”