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How-To Geek

Scareware

Scareware refers to software that is used to take advantage of unsuspecting or naive computer users for profit or malicious purposes. The authors of scareware seek to create a sense of panic, shock, or anxiety about a supposed problem or threat to the user’s computer system, when in fact, there is no problem at all.

One of the most popular tactics is to convince a computer user that their computer has become infected by viruses, followed by an offer to purchase software that will remove the infections from their computer. These rogue, or fake, anti-virus programs are of course worthless, and may at times come with malicious malware that will actually cause harm to the user’s system or seek to steal personal information from them.

Other examples of scareware include so-called registry cleaners and programs that are supposed to enhance a system’s performance or repair ‘other problems’, none of which actually deliver what they promise, leaving buyers of said software with a worthless purchase, and quite possibly real problems afterwards.

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