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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Anti Virus Software Scams
December 22, 2009

Anti Virus Software Scams

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Anti Virus Software Scams

While browsing the Internet, you may receive pop-up security warnings that state that your computer is infected with numerous viruses.

These pop-ups [known as scareware] look authentic and may even display what appears to be real-time anti-virus scanning of your hard drive. The scareware will show a list of reputable software icons; however, you cannot click a link to go to the actual site to review or see the recommendations.

The scareware is intimidating to most users and extremely aggressive in its attempt to lure you into purchasing the rogue software that will allegedly remove the viruses from your computer.

Once the pop-up appears it cannot be easily closed by clicking "close" or the "X" button. If you click on the pop-up to purchase the software, a form is provided that collects payment information and you are charged for the bogus product.

In some instances, whether you click on the pop-up or not, the scareware can install malicious code onto your computer.

Downloading the software can result in viruses, trojans and/or keyloggers being installed on your computer.

The assertive tactics of the scareware has caused significant losses to users and the FBI has an estimated loss to victims in excess of $150 million.

Be cautious cyber criminals use easy to remember names and associate them with known applications. Beware of pop-ups that are offering a variation of recognized security software. It is recommended that you research the exact name of the software being offered.

Take precautions to ensure your operating system is updated and security software is current.

If you receive these anti-virus pop-ups, it is recommended you close the browser or shut the system down. It is suggested that you run a full, anti-virus scan whenever the computer is turned back on.

If you have experienced the anti-virus pop-ups or a similar scam, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at

Remember - always watch for scams!


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