Get Safe Online week kicked off for the sixth year running today, with the obligatory warnings to UK computer users, this time focused around the increasing prevalence of scareware scams.
The government backed organisation released new research which revealed that a quarter of users have been tricked into buying fake Anti Virus software, either by clicking on a web pop-up, or paying over the phone to a cold call scammer pretending to be from a reputable security vendor.
Sharon Lemon, deputy director of Soca, warned that scareware is now big business.
"In recent cases, we have seen gangs employing 300-400 people to run their operations and using call centre-scale set ups to target victims en masse," she added.
"They can also be paying out as much as $150,000 a month on a pay per download basis to individual webmasters who are unwittingly advertising their fake software - this level of investment from criminals indicates that the returns are much heftier than this."
Scareware is not new, of course. Security vendors have been warning of the rise of fake AV scams for years now, although it certainly seems to have reached critical mass this year.
As ever, a bit more caution from the UK populace and up-to-date security on their desktops could make all the difference. Criminals only go for the path of least resistance, after all.
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