The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will sent a $176 check to 3,800 victims of the infamous Microsoft support scam. Many of the victims received a fake pop-up that stated their computer was infected with malware. The popup appeared to come from Microsoft or another well-known tech company.
To fix the issue, users had to call a phone number that, as the popup said, was from Microsoft. In reality the phone number belonged to cyber criminals that convinced users to install software that allowed them to take over the computer, so they could ‘fix’ the alleged malware infection. For the provided services, users had to pay several hundreds of dollars.
In 2017, the FTC settled with several scammers. The watchdog was able to retrieve $668,000 from them that is now returned to 3,800 of their victims. The average value of the checks is around $176. Victims have to redeem the checks within 60 days, else they expire.