Have you received this email?

A great many companies selling antivirus software have affiliate programs that help them expand their reach. Each time an affiliate sells a copy of the software, they get a cut.

It's a good business model used in a wide range of industries, and antivirus software companies have strict rules governing how their affiliates can market.

Unfortunately, not everyone plays by the rules. Recently, BleepingComputer sounded the alarm after being made aware of a scammy email campaign that uses deceptive marketing to try and convince people to buy their product.

The deceptive email says...

The emails claim that the recipient's antivirus software is out of date, and provides convenient links allowing them to renew. The problem is, their software isn't out of date at all. It's a lie, designed to frighten people who aren't necessarily tech-savvy into spending money they don't need to spend, all in the name of lining someone's pocket.

All scams take advantage of a few basic realities of modern life: Many people are too busy to check themselves to see exactly when their antivirus software expires. Many more simply don't know how to check it. In both cases, an email recipient is likely to just sigh, pull out his or her credit card and spend a few bucks to keep the machine they're on protected.

It's understandable why the scam works, but...

If you know anyone who isn't especially computer savvy and you feel they might fall victim to a scam like this, here is what to do. Gently remind them that whatever antivirus software they're using, the software itself will remind them when it's about to expire. There is no email needed, and before they spend any money, it's better to do some checking to verify that their expiration date is approaching. If they don't know how to check, they almost certainly know someone who does.

Our perspective

We may not be able to keep these scammers from ripping people off, but we can certainly put a dent in their profits, and that's a very good thing.

~ As Hill Street Blues' Sgt. Esterhaus always advised: "Hey, let's be careful out there! " ~

 

Meanwhile, check out this report

This free executive report may give you insights into how to build your business with safe IT environments: 10 Hidden IT Risks That Might Threaten Your Business and 1 Easy Way to Find Them

The author

Thanks for reading this short post. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPia Blogs. I am also available on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT SupportI am Denis Wilson, President and Principal Consultant for DWP Information Architects. I help professionals grow their business by building a foundation of rock-solid IT and communications solutions for smaller insurance brokerages, financial services, and accountancy and law firms in Ventura County and San Fernando Valley. I have created cost-effective personal service automation solutions, for over 20 years, specializing in cybersecurity and regulatory compliance. I am also a published author and speaker, working extensively with business and professional associations to provide small business technology education programs.

Contact me if you would like me to speak at your association