Scareware consists of pop-up advertisements that appear warning users of supposed security threats. As companies get smarter about recognising spam and phishing emails, Scareware suppliers have started implanting triggers in the most unexpected places online, with research suggesting that 50 new ‘scam tactics’ are emerging each day.

Scareware can now be found in advertisements posted on popular mainstream media sites, among results from well-known search engines like Yahoo and Google and in messages on the most popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Using popular and misspelled search terms, criminals divert people to sites that are seeded with fake warnings about virus infections. The pop-up warnings then claim that a visitor’s PC is riddled with malicious programmes and spyware.

Keep yourself ahead of the criminals by:

1. Installing antivirus software on every machine and keeping the signature files current through automatic or manual updates at least weekly. Renew the automatic update capability annually as required to maintain a current virus signature file on every machine.

2. DO NOT download material from the Internet without first ensuring that your AV application is active.

3. Educate all computer users to remove or destroy infected files identified by AV software.

4. Educate all e-mail users not to open e-mail attachments from unexpected and unknown sources to avoid unleashing a new virus not yet blocked by the AV application

5. Enable the AV application to automatically check every file source on each machine when it is used (including CD, USB drives etc.).

e-Crime Wales Partners

Dyfed Powys Police
Gwent Police
North Wales Police
South Wales Police
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Federation of Small Businesses
Get Safe Online
Morgan Cole
University of Wales, Newport