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How To Visually Spot and Detect Spyware, Malware, Virus, and Trojan Scams

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You have to be real careful these days on the internet, for scammers trying to bilk you out of your hard earned penny.

I've been well woven into the depths of the internet, and all of it's seedy corners, for over 15 years now and have never fallen for a single scam. That's not bragging, there's just a few basic tricks to being able to (generally) spot someone trying to scam you.

This is a repost of the tips, in reply to a previous thread, which can be found here.

Some scammers out there will write software (a.k.a MalwareMalwarebytes Anti-virus / Anti-malware) designed to not really ravage your system (although sometimes they do that as well), but mostly just to scare the living bejesus out of you, in hopes of you sending them money, buying some recommended software to fix it (in this case NEVER buy that software, because it's almost always the same people who wrote that MalwareMalwarebytes Anti-virus / Anti-malware that just infected your computer. Would you trust the same people to protect you?), or any other myriad of reasons. Often times, these people have the spelling and/or grammar of a 5th grader (an uneducated one at that), or blatantly only use English as a second language. Sometimes, it may be a bit more subtle, but it's there more often than not.

So here are some very good tips on how to tell if you're (attempting) to be scammed. Keep in mind, that you still may (often will) need to run genuine MalwareMalwarebytes Anti-virus / Anti-malware scanners and cleaners to remove this scumware from your computer, but at least you won't fall for also spending your cash on whatever they're trying to pawn off on you, and you may also not fall for the scare of having to do a full computer format, which many people automatically assume they'll need to do. Personally I am a huge fan of SuperAntiSpyware for scanning and cleaning my computers, or family and friends that I may be helping out.

Here are a few signs that your MalwareMalwarebytes Anti-virus / Anti-malware is trying to scam you:

  • It says to "activate" it (most likely for a price), or buy a certain specific program, so you can start cleaning your system.
  • There are a lot of exclamation points, and strange, or too much puncuation in the alerts. Generally, programmers don't use many exclamation points in legitimate, professional software. And they keep the software very "dry" and "sterile" sounding. In other words, not much personality and just the facts.
  • A sense of dire emergency it may portray. Real anti-virus / anti-spyware apps will generally just show that you have an infection (or infections). It doesn't make it sound like a life or death situation.
  • Real scanners won't flood you with alerts. You generally just get one big window listing all of the infections.
  • Improper grammar / spelling. For example: "Windows recommend Activate". It should be "Windows recommends activating ...". Professional, commercial software designed for public consumption, has had it's spelling and grammar checked and re-checked by many people, and if a spelling burp slips by one person in the company, someone else in the company is sure to spot and point it out to someone who'll fix it.
  • Use of certain "Buzz words" to make people freak out. Like the word "Hacked". Real scanners won't say "System hacked!", or "Identity theft detected!". "Identity theft" being another big, scary buzz word.
  • Asking money to be sent somewhere, anywhere, for ANY reason. Keep your money to yourself, and ignore these. I don't care if it's some window popping up saying that you need to send this money to the RIAA for pirating music ... don't do it. If it's real, the RIAA will contact you in a more professional way first.

Those are some examples, along with common sense, and a skeptical eye whenever getting something like this on your screen. The main thing is, no need to panic, ever. Just stay calm, and be skeptical. And know that 99.9% of these things can be cleaned.

Here is another GeekDrop thread on the subject. If you have any other great tips, we'd love for you to post them!

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Smartmom's picture
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Re: How To Visually Spot and Detect Spyware, Malware, ...
STaRDoGG wrote:

Personally I am a huge fan of SuperAntiSpyware for scanning and cleaning my computers, or family and friends that I may be helping out.

I agree I love and use SuperAntiSpyware too. Big Grin

Jayson Krause's picture
Jayson Krause
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Re: How To Visually Spot and Detect Spyware, Malware, ...

I use MalwareBytesMalwarebytes Anti-virus / Anti-malware Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Anti-virus / Anti-malware also !

This website is very good if you computer is infected with anything or you are having any symptoms of MalwareMalwarebytes Anti-virus / Anti-malware or want to speed up your computer !

crito's picture
Re: How To Visually Spot and Detect Spyware, Malware, ...

I use something different and it works very well for me. My computer has no problem since i installed the Kaspersky I hope you'll like it too

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Re: How To Visually Spot and Detect Spyware, Malware, ...

I have never fell for this kind of security threats, they smell of scam from a mile! What really scares me while surfing the net is getting some kind of spyware which could stole my business data without me being aware of it. Now that's a serious threat and i hope I will never get through it. I am using an effective business security software now (TrendMicro) and I am quite satisfied by it since it blocks any potential attack before reaching my computer, but I never let my guard down and never download anything "free" on my computer, because that's the ultimate bait spyware programmers use to infiltrate your system.

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