Rogue security software, also known as ‘scareware’ is the method of luring a user into downloading fake anti-virus software.

This can be done using pop-ups in the web browser designed to look and act like particular operating systems. By scaring the user into thinking they have a virus, they are more likely to download the fake program. The pop-up may replicate the look and feel of the user's operating system.

Once the user has downloaded the fake anti-virus software, a number of things may happen.

The program may:

  • Ask for your bank details to provide 'full protection'
  • Steal your personal information
  • Launch other pop-up windows
  • Corrupt your hard drive.

If you get any message which purports to be a security alert: close all windows immediately, close the 'security alert' and use a reputable anti-virus program to scan your computer. If you do have a virus this should find and remove it.

Reporting fraud

If you're a victim of fraud that is a crime in progress and you need an immediate police response dial 999.

If it is a non-emergency situation,

call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

You can also report fraud or find further advice and information on the Action Fraud website.