Got hacked? Get your money back

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(Source: MEREDITH stock image) (Source: MEREDITH stock image)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona is one of 31 states in a consumer fraud settlement with Lenovo Inc., the second largest computer manufacturer in the world.

The computer company shipped some laptops with preloaded adware that compromised security protections, the software made consumers’ personal information vulnerable to hackers.

The computers contained pre-installed adware called VisualDiscovery, which was created by Superfish, Inc. VisualDiscovery caused pop-up ads to consumers who purchased similar items to those sold by Superfish partners.

Whenever a customer’s mouse hovers over the image of a product on a shopping website an ad pops up. The states claim there was a one-time pop-up window the first-time consumers visited a shopping website. Unless consumers opted out, VisualDiscovery would be enabled on their computers.

[RELATED: Lenovo slipped 'Superfish' malware into laptops]

Lenovo failed to disclose the presence of VisualDiscovery on its computers, failed to warn consumers that the software created a security vulnerability, and its inadequate opt-out procedure violated Arizona consumer protection laws.

Lenovo stopped shipping laptops with VisualDiscovery in February 2015, but the laptops were still being sold in retail outlets until June 2015.

The settlement requires Lenovo to receive a consumer’s consent to use the software on their device and to provide a reasonable and effective means to opt-out, disable or remove the software.

[RELATED: Here are the laptops Consumer Reports no longer recommends]

They are required to implement and maintain a software security compliance program and obtain initial and biennial assessments for the next 20 years from a qualified, independent, third-party professional that certifies the effectiveness and compliance with the security compliance program.

The settlement is not yet final. If it is finalized, Arizona will receive $83,961.

If you believe you were victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General's website at www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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