Think about this – You visit a site and it looks legitimate, it offers a program that will scan your computer and remove malware of every kind, fix the Registry and Optimize your computer for that ‘like new’ performance.

It is probably well priced, between $29 USD and $39 USD. The main page will tell you to be wary of fraudulent applications, of which there are many that are merely trying to scam you.

The site can vouch for its authenticity as it has verification seals which may or may not be genuine.

Maybe it is McAfee Secured

Maybe it is Business Verified

It could be Hacker Secured

Or maybe it has Privacy Verified

Look at this differently. Many such programs that are fake are also listed on many of the major and popular download sites, who claim they are ‘malware free’.

One good example of this is Spyware Cleaner 2009 which is also being sold by other affiliates through ClickBank and other sites, bear in mind that download sites are also affiliate sites and get a percentage from each sale.

I digress…Seals cost money:

These are just examples of costs, and given what the criminals can make they would be considered ‘cheap’

McAfee SECURE – $300+/month
ControlScan – $149/year
VeriSign Secure Site SSL – $390/year
VeriSign Secure Site Pro – $903/year
C&M Business Verified – $320.00/year
C&M Hacker Secured – $251.99/year

There a many great genuine sites that rely on these, but also the criminals have latched onto this as a way of ‘showing’ security. Their sites may be secure and downloads through https protocol, but that does not make them genuine.

There are sites that sell genuine seals and site owners that purchase them can verify this, just as there are sites that sell ‘fake’ seals which are absolutely worthless. But, for the vendors of seals, it is about making money.

For the criminals, a seal becomes a cheap option as does using secure servers (https) as they can easily make tens of thousands of dollars to stuff in their accounts, so the cost of a genuine seal would be loose change to them, a small price to pay with massive profits for fake products.

Some seals are also considered too cheap, as shown above with a price tag of $320 USD per year, sell only 10 fake programs and beyond that is the ‘profit zone’ which is very, very lucrative for the criminals.

The various rogue / fake applications have made millions of dollars for the criminals as users download the ‘free scanner’ and then purchase the program to clean the non-existent defects from their computer.

The user becomes the victim of fraud and Identity Theft as Credit Card information and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is entered on the purchase page. ID Theft and Fraud is something that I do know about, having been the victim of this, but NOT through the internet, but that’s another story!

There are many genuine and safe programs, if in doubt seek advice and please, stick to the well known names and also check where you are downloading from.

Always check, double check and check again, do NOT assume that it is safe unless it has been verified as such by those who know what they are dealing with and if using the Free PC Security, has many free programs and I place links to various downloads that are safe and secure. Online security is something I take very seriously along with the safety of others.