Scareware / Fake-AV Most Costly Scam

Fake antivirus programs that part Web users from their hard-earned cash is likely to be the most costly scam of 2010, says McAfee.  According to the security firm, criminals make upwards of $300 million conning web users worldwide into downloading scareware.  They also said they had seen a 660% rise in scareware over the past two years, and a 400% increase in reported incidents in the last 12 months.

Even the savviest of computer users can fall victim to online scams because criminals have become so sophisticated.  The scareware scam starts with a pop-up that claims the web user’s PC is infected with malware and then prompts the user to purchase the fake ‘security software’ which is actuallymalware in disguise.  Criminals also obtain the user’s computer and credit card details.  It’s an incredibly lucrative business.

With this in mind, McAfee has launched the Consumer Threat Alerts program that is designed to warn web users about the latest and most dangerous online threats

See PCWorld