In response to the growing need for internet security and anonymity, the number of fraudulent virtual private networks has skyrocketed (VPNs).
These fraudulent VPNs also come with a slew of positive customer ratings and enticing incentives, ranging from free lifetime subscriptions to generous money-back guarantees, among other things.
The problem is that many of these features are either false promises or blatant scams, which makes them difficult to recommend. The purpose of their deception is to get your money, personal information (which is then sold to advertising businesses, exposing you to a number of internet hazards), and a variety of other things by being dishonest, misleading, and deceptive.
Every week, new virtual private network (VPN) services are launched to meet the growing demand from internet users who value their privacy.
In addition to providing complete online anonymity, these services also provide a secure and private surfing experience. Fake assessments can be found on websites that claim to be the “Best VPN,” all of which are intended to deceive the reader that they are genuine.
According to TechNinja PRO, many VPNs defraud consumers with deceptive marketing promises, sales gimmicks, and other schemes in order to gain their trust. Consequently, because VPNs are commonly based outside the United States, they may never be held liable for deceptive marketing and/or outright fraud if they are located in another country.
Scams involving virtual private networks (VPNs) are prevalent in the sector. Some of the most essential and typical scams in the VPN market, which you should be on the lookout for at all times, include:
1. The Use of Free Virtual Private Network (VPN) Services
In Freetown, there is an old proverb that says, “There is no free dinner.” An outstanding example of this is virtual private networks (VPNs). Because free VPN scams contradict the core concept of a VPN, it is vital to be on the lookout for them. Due to the alluring appeal of the word “free,” the dangers associated with it are typically overlooked.
You may rest assured that your information is secure as long as businesses recognize that they stand to gain more if they sell or log it. This is exactly what free VPNs do: they capture your information and sell it to third-party agents in exchange for a fee.
Free VPNs make money off of your personal information in the same way that Facebook, Gmail, and other free services and businesses make money off of your personal information. The collection of data is critical to the success of their business model.
A nice example of a free VPN is VPN Master-Free VPN Proxy, which is accessible on Google Play and can be downloaded for free. During the preceding year, over 100,000 individuals downloaded this app from the App Store. Users have previously stated that the VPN contains a large amount of free spyware.
This has been confirmed by the company. The fact that VirusTotal determined that the VPN had been infiltrated was formerly correct; however, this has since been modified. This illustrates that the ratings on Google Play and the Apple Store are not always accurate and reliable.
Apart from those, FREE VPNs are well-known for the following reasons: A series of commercials are shown to the user. They collect and resell information about how people interact with the Internet. They do not use encryption to protect your information (even if they say they do). Many types of infiltration such as malware, and other types of intrusion are all too common with free VPNs, which track the internet activity of their users.
2. Be On The Lookout For Phony Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Fake VPNs are springing up like weeds as the concept and need of virtual private networks gain in popularity. These are not virtual private networks (VPNs), but rather subscriptions marketed by con artists to unwary customers. MySafeVPN is an example of a fraudulent virtual private network (VPN) service (and loads like these have swarmed the market like bees).
A phony VPN compromises both privacy and security.
One strategy to avoid becoming a victim of bogus VPNs is to evade new VPN businesses with unknown track records instead those with a reputation for excellent performance and customer service support.
They are just concerned with the amount of money you have. Last but not least, they may sell your information to third parties and install potentially harmful malware on your computer as a last resort.
Look for a system that is upfront and honest about its purpose, location, and security measures while shopping for the best virtual private networks on the market. Because of this, substantial research must be conducted before selecting a virtual private network for your organization (VPN). There is a need to go over the terms of service and privacy statement in this process.
3. Subscriptions To A Virtual Private Network (VPN) For Life
VPNs that offer lifetime subscriptions should be avoided at all costs. Running a secure, fast, and safe network of VPN servers throughout the world, along with attractive apps and exceptional customer service, requires a significant investment of money and time. How is it possible for a VPN to provide a “lifetime subscription” when its operating costs are so high?
For example, Gdgt Deals used to sell a lifetime subscription to Windscribe VPN for $49, which was a significant discount from the original $900 price. Because the price was so low, it was inevitable that there would be a catch. As a consequence of the several publications that brought this to light, the situation has been remedied. Take a look at an early preview of their new website:
In these types of situations, we come up with theories such as:
- Customers’ personal information is sold to advertisers and other third parties by “cheap” or “free” VPN services that claim to be “unlimited.” This is a well-liked and profitable business plan to pursue. The purpose of VPNs is to profit from their sales by redirecting you to third-party websites or bombarding you with ads.
- A “lifetime subscription” does not exist in the actual world. Upon the expiration of the contract with the VPN provider, the subscription will be automatically ended.
- Similar to a Ponzi scheme, a virtual private network (VPN) relies on an ever-growing list of members until it falls like a house of cards.
- Rather than referring to the lifespan of a client, the term “lifetime” is sometimes used to refer to the longevity of a corporation. When a corporation sells out all of its lifetime subscriptions, it closes down and vanishes into thin air, thereby ending its existence.
Some VPN service providers routinely cancel ‘lifetime memberships,’ and the accounts are then converted to paid subscriptions on a monthly or quarterly schedule. In the case of VPN Land, the company has since gone out of business.
4. Dubious Free Virtual Private Network (VPN) Software
Unfortunately, the security and privacy precautions supplied by free VPNs are either insufficient or non-existent in their entirety. Recently, rumors have surfaced that free VPN apps available on the Google Play Store are supposedly distributing financial malware to unsuspecting clients.
However, while this is not always the case, the vast majority of free VPN programs available through the Apple or Google Play Stores are unsafe and potentially dangerous to use.
The following is what a group of academics had to say about the free Android VPN app they developed.
VPN programs steal the bandwidth of their customers in 16 percent of cases. When it comes to protecting sensitive data, only 18 percent of firms use encryption. It is found in 38 percent of these programs and is used to track your activities on the internet, steal your personal information, or harm you. Malware (spyware, risk ware, malvertising, and Trojans) are also present in 38 percent of these programs.
People that utilize third-party tracking software account for 74% of all users. Eighty-two percent of the time, they attempt to obtain sensitive information (such as a user’s text messages or account information). It is estimated that 84 percent of firms reveal the genuine IP addresses of their customers.
Many of the maliciously-infected programs, according to a survey of the growing number of VPN scams, have received positive comments from victims.
Millions of individuals are unintentionally utilizing a VPN that is infected with spyware and adware, which implies that millions of people are at risk. In particular, free VPN programs are susceptible to this problem. As a result, you should avoid using free virtual private network ( VPN) services.
5. Making Baseless Claims About A Defective Product
Fraudulent virtual private network (VPN) companies routinely make exaggerated claims. Examples of this in action include the following.
Many virtual private network (VPN) companies claim that their services keep “no logs,” only to realize that they have been leaking information about their customers. VPN providers such as Pure VPN make claims that are comparable to these. You are advised to thoroughly read and understand the privacy policies of any VPN service they want to use before engaging in any activity.
A further false claim made by many VPNs is that they provide the fastest connection possible. Many VPNs only provide slow connections due to the large number of users attracted by claims like “fastest VPN.”
In contrast, several VPNs offer sophisticated IP leak protection capabilities that, in practice, do not function. Performing a variety of VPN checks and tests can assist in determining whether the features are operational in the first place.
Ensure that your fraud detector is on high alert before signing up for a VPN and that you have thoroughly reviewed the website’s promises, features, and pricing.
6. Use Of A Shady Pricing Mechanism
Make use of a virtual private network (VPN) that is either pricey or does not require you to provide any information at all to access it. When comparing prices, be sure you understand when and how much you’ll be required to pay.
In exchange for its premium service, the program promised to charge clients $0.99 per week. In addition, they made several other incorrect assertions. Along with the pricing issue, the product description contains numerous grammatical errors that should raise red flags for anyone who is paying attention to the description. Despite its flaws, the software was downloaded by around 50,000 people before it was eventually removed from the market.
Before signing up for a virtual private network (VPN), make sure that the service is legitimate and cost-effective. If you’re seeking a solid VPN, you won’t find one that changes every week if you look hard enough. Generally speaking, an established VPN service will cost you between $40 and $99 per year on average.
7. Fake Reviews, Comments, And Testimonials
There are numerous “organic” reviews of new virtual private network (VPN) companies. The majority of the time, bogus reviews are created by VPN firms to selenite their services. A corporation whose review website and business are the same as illustrated in the following illustration:
PCMag, the parent firm, owns a majority stake in J2 Global. They purchase virtual private networks (VPNs) such as IP Vanish and Strong VPN. The IP Vanish service was a continuous recommendation in their “best VPN” lists during the entire year of 2017.
Additionally, PCMag owns numerous VPN websites in addition to producing digital material for its readers. It is no coincidence that IPVanish is frequently included in the company’s list of recommended virtual private networks.
Web selenese, a media company that specializes in security and privacy content, was bought by Kape Technologies in March 2021. Both Wizcase and vpnMentor are two of the most well-known blogs in the world of virtual private networks and digital security today. Private Internet Access, ZenMate, and CyberGhost VPN are among the companies owned by Kape, in addition to Private Internet Access, ZenMate, and CyberGhost VPN.
Despite the corporations’ pledges that these acquisitions will protect editorial independence, this is not always the case. In this scenario, Kape Technologies spent a stunning $150 million to acquire Web Selene from a private equity firm. It would be impossible to assume that a buyer would refrain from interfering with a product’s commercial operations after making a $150 million investment in it.
Someone appears to be paying commentators to publish positive VPN reviews, especially when a user posts a critical review of the service. You must remain skeptical of all internet content, particularly evaluations, as a result of all of this.
Customer Testimonials Reviews Customer Comments: It’s important to realize that the vast majority of “reviews” aren’t based on actual testing; rather, many reviews are sponsored advertisements for products.
8. Use Of Third-Party Sales Websites
The market demand for lifetime memberships have recently increased, which has benefited third-party sellers of such subscriptions. It doesn’t matter how common these intermediaries are; they should be avoided at all costs. This is because they frequently inquired about topics such as:
What is the benefit of a VPN provider collaborating with a third-party website to offer lifetime subscriptions or to sell lifetime purchases? When it comes to personal and financial information, can you put your faith in an independent sales website?
This was something discovered during your Win scribe review, however, you are relieved to see that they no longer provide this service. Consequently, you should avoid visiting third-party websites and interacting with third-party intermediaries. If you wish to sign up for a virtual private network (VPN), you must contact the service provider directly.
The cancellation of all lifetime memberships acquired from third parties has been known to occur at VPN service providers. When a VPN user meets a difficulty, no one, not even the VPN provider, takes responsibility for the situation.
9. Unprotected Virtual Private Network (VPN) Websites.
To ensure that the services claimed are legitimate and authentic, it is important to thoroughly study the product description while selecting a VPN. In the claims of the “Mobile protection: Clean & Security VPN” scam, we found terms such as “duplicate contacts” and “instantly employ advanced antivirus” that we believe are false.
After removing the program, you can still access the internet using other VPN services. Those dodgy VPN apps are becoming more circumspect in what they claim to be doing.
The security features of a VPN might have an impact on its overall quality.
A fraudulent VPN service like MySafeVPN, for example, only delivers HTTP security rather than HTTPS security. It is not recommended. Considering this seemingly tiny difference, it can help you avoid being duped by VPN con artists.
A VPN service’s security is difficult to verify if the company’s website is not secure. Even though they promise to guarantee military-grade security and privacy on their website, they are lying if they do not use HTTPS encryption.
10. Using A Virtual Private Network (VPN) That Requires A Large Amount Of Personal Information
Be cautious of virtual private networks (VPNs) that request a big amount of personal information. The address and phone number of the subscriber are required by Astrill, a well-known virtual private network operator (VPN).
Before allowing you to use their services, virtual private networks (VPNs) should not ask you for any personal information. Finally, look into VPN companies that allow Bitcoin as a form of payment, as this will take you even further away from your bank account and information.
11. Use Of Dormant Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Even after a VPN has been unplugged or shut down, it may be still operational. The service is no longer available, but you can still purchase or subscribe to it, even though it is no longer in operation.
Earth VPN is an example of such a service. Even though the VPN service is no longer available, the website is still accessible. In addition to the checkout procedure, it includes all marketing materials. Look for VPN membership discounts online; some review sites still provide access to the VPN’s subscription page, which makes this a straightforward process.
According to consumer feedback, the servers have stopped responding to support tickets, and no one is available to assist customers. As a result, it is almost certain that the service will no longer be provided. They may delay coming clean to keep the money flowing since they didn’t want it to come to an end.
If you sign up for a dead VPN service, you may rest assured that your money has been wasted. You will not be provided with a VPN service or a refund. After all, no one is available to monitor, recognize, or refund your purchase because no one can be reached. Even worse, your credit card information will be available through a non-secure website, compounding the problem.
How To Stay Away From Fake VPNs?
It is possible to prevent falling victim to VPN scams if you follow the following guidelines:
- Don’t give away your e-mail address or any other personal information without thinking about it first.
- If you receive an email containing your banking or financial information, do not answer.
- Advertisements that appear in the form of pop-up windows should be avoided like the plague.
- If you have any reservations, you should refrain from purchasing a VPN subscription.
- Free virtual private network (VPN) services should be avoided.
- Your VPN service provider should be your exclusive point of contact (no third-party)
- In general, avoid utilizing long-term subscription-based virtual private networks (VPNs) unless necessary (VPNs).
- Consider the country of origin for the service provider you are considering.
- Make use of a virtual private network (VPN) service that does not accept secure payments.
- Keep an eye out for VPNs that have security issues.
- Avoid using VPNs that do not have a track record of reliability.