Online criminals are tricking millions of computer users into downloading fake anti-virus software, internet security experts claim.
Sources claim that millions of people have fallen victim to this type of scam in the past 12 months.
Usually the downloaded software and its purchase can be used by the criminals to get the victim’s credit card details.
Sources say that there are several hundred versions of the bogus software and the criminals are thought to earn three quarters of a million dollars each year.
The sellers of Scare ware Software use pop-up advertising designed to look like legitimate Software from well-known software providers.
The advertisements and pop-ups appear, while a user is surfing the Internet and is switching between websites. The Pop-up falsely warns the user that his or her computer’s security has been compromised.
If the user then clicks on the message they are directed towards another site where they can download the fake anti-virus software they supposedly need to clean up their computer for a fee.
The apparent fix could have a double impact on victims. You not only lose your Money for the bogus software, but when you’re transacting with these guys online, you’re offering them credit card details, debit card details and other personal information.
This obviously is very valuable to these Internet cyber criminals so that they can try to access your accounts and get your money for themselves or they can sell your account information to others who will try to use that information to clean out your account.
The data was collected in 2008 and 2009. About 43 million people fell for such scams during that period.
It has become so popular with the cyber criminals that the bogus software has been sold to other criminals.
Experts say users must protect themselves with common sense and legitimate security software and not only protect their computer, but themselves as well from identity theft.
Where we used to protect our PC’s. We now have to make sure we are protecting ourselves against the con men who are out there trying to steal our ID.