Have you ever noticed those annoying pop-up ads while browsing the web, informing you that your computer is infected while recommending an antivirus program you should buy to immediately protect yourself? Well, you may not be seeing as many in the future as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has recently begun cracking down on these huge scamming rings. 

The FTC issued a hefty fine of $168 million to be paid by "scareware" ringleader Kristy Ross along with her counterparts Sam Jain, and Daniel Sundin for their antivirus scam which has fooled over one million people in six countries.

From 2000 to 2008, the aforementioned parties operated a company, Innovative Marketing Inc., which purchased ad space on various websites luring web browsers with false claims of computer infection. The advertisements, which linked backed to Innovative Marketing's website, advised for the immediate purchase of the fraudulent software to resolve issues found on the computer. 

On top of her fine, Kristy Ross has been banned from distributing and selling software which interferes with user's computers. Innovative Marketing Inc. is not the only company selling "scareware" to the masses, but the FTC's efforts have set the tone, letting scam artists know that they're on watch.

[via Slash Gear]