Scareware – not just for Halloween

By Shiloh Pettyjohn in Effects Across Industries, Questions Answered on

Ever hear the old adage you get what you pay for?

There is an ever increasing number of fake Spam products that are disguised as real protection for your computer.

This is known as Scareware. It’s those little flicker boxes that jump up on your screen telling you “click here for a free trial – you’ve been infected” or some other such scare tactic.

Imagine for a moment you are walking along a bustling metropolis street and a guy jumps out at you and “Hey hey I got the real deal designer bags over here, come take a look!” he then proceeds to show you “Prada”, “Chanel”, “Fendi” and all sorts of other “real” designer bags at one one hundredth of the cost it would be in Saks or Neiman Marcus etc. Now, you may consider buying one of these bags, but you would have to know somewhere in your mind that they are fake being that they are being sold in a dark alley on a side street by a guy who clearly doesn’t look legit.

That is not unlike Scareware. So, if you imagine the little pop up boxes etc that hit your computers the way you would in real life it is likely you wouldn’t bite.

If someone offered you a free security system for your house you just have to give them a set of keys you probably wouldn’t go for it right?

You get what you pay for.