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Beware of Scareware

Beware of Scareware - The Beacon


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By: Jason

Beware of Scareware

Despite the name, “scareware” is not associated with Halloween but it is something to be wary of. Scareware refers to scans that pop up on your computer telling you that you have viruses and malware that have to be removed and then offers to sell you the software to fix it. Actually the scan and the software are both fake and meant to con you into paying for nothing.

The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that a federal judge issued a $163 million judgment against the last of seven defendants that the FTC has been pursuing. According to the FTC these seven individual used scareware to con over a million people.

Consumers paid between $40 and $60 for software to fix a problem that didn’t exist because they were told they needed it by the fake pop up virus scanners. You can read the press release here and the FTC Consumer Alert with tips on how to avoid scareware here.

Ultimately the key is to be familiar with your computer’s security programs and be able to recognize a fake notice. As always to check out a business or for more consumer information, check out our website at

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Jason was the Manager of Dispute Resolution Services with the BBB and primary handled consumer complaints. He also assisted consumers with business inquiries. He was a regular contributor to the blog.