The FBI estimates that fake AV companies have already cost consumers over $150 million! the numbers grow daily. Cybercriminals claim a million victims a day with an online scam that McAfee Labs predicts will cost consumers the most money in 2010: scareware. Scareware appears as legitimate looking pop-up alerts warning users their computer is infected and prompting them to install malware disguised as security software.

There are more than 2,900 known fake antivirus programs (aka rogue antivirus), with more being developed every day by cybercriminals around the world.

Stevie Wilson, a scareware victim who lives in Los Angeles, shares her story in this video.

In my observation the primary reason individuals fall for these scams, is because they are unaware of or ignorant to the legitimate antivirus product that they have installed on their computer. If consumers could educate themselves as to what AV product they use, it would be in their best interest to be incredibly wary when other programs start notifying them of viruses. As a simple example, I use AVG Free on my home computer, when AVG notifies me of threats I pay attention. If something besides AVG were to notify me I’d be concerned, it’s as simple as that.