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November 22, 2006 at 12:00 PM

AG announces pop-up settlement and refund

People in Washington who bought the software program QuikShield Security may be getting some money. The attorney general’s office has settled allegations that a New York man sold the software through pop-up advertising that appeared to look like alerts from Internet Explorer — a method that is illegal in the state.

After a three-month investigation by a high-tech unit within the AG’s consumer protection office, the man — James Lane — has agreed to fully reimburse Washington consumers who bought the program. Lane hasn’t admitted to any fault in the agreement, though.

Here’s what the smarmy pop-up ad said: “Security alert — your computer is vulnerable to receiving excessive popup ads. Would you like to install a popup blocker to prevent popup ads from appearing on your screen?”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, any attempt to close the ad launched a Web site offering to install QuikShield free. Anyone agreeing to that opened their computers to numerous additional pop-ups that resembled critical system warnings.

If you purchased QuikShield, you can request a refund in the next 45 days by filing a complaint with the AG’s office. (You can file that online). You can also call 1-800-551-4636.

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