Office Depot to Pay $35 Million for PC Malware Scam
Office Depot, which ranks 14th on Dealerscope’s forthcoming Top 101 CE Retailers list in 2019, along with a California-based tech support software provider that it did business with, were ordered to pay a total of $35 million to settle a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. That complaint, which was filed earlier this week, alleged that the companies used malware detection software to trick customers into buying millions of dollars worth of computer repair and technical services.
Office Depot will fork over $25 million while its software supplier, Support.com, will come up with the additional $10 million. The FTC said it intends to use those funds to provide refunds to duped consumers.
Per the complaint, Office Depot and Support.com worked together for nearly a decade, using a software program called PC Health Check to scan consumers’ computers for potential malware and other technical problems. The service, which was marketed as a free “PC check up,” was used as a way to get customers to purchase repair services from Office Depot and OfficeMax, Inc., which merged with Office Depot in 2013.