Fake antivirus

Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope
Computer Virus

Alternatively called fake antispyware, fake av, rogue antivirus, and smitfraud, a fake antivirus program tricks users into thinking their computer is infected with spyware or a virus. When installed, the fake program mimics a scan of your computer and then reports several falsely detected spyware or viruses on the computer.

A fake report is done so that it appears the computer is seriously infected, often displaying many infections or pop-up windows frequently warning of infections. If you click repair or fix, the program may ask for payment, lock your data files, or install other malware or trojans that monitor your keystrokes and behavior.

What is fake security software?

Fake security software or rogue security software is any program claiming it's protecting your computer but is doing nothing. For example, a program may claim to be scanning your computer files for malware but is only listing every file on your computer. Typically, these programs falsely alert the user that it detected malware or another security threat that should be fixed. However, the "fix" requires the user to pay and is not fixing anything.

How do I uninstall fake antivirus programs?

Unfortunately, because these programs are malicious, they are intentionally designed to be difficult to uninstall or remove from the computer. However, legitimate antivirus programs and programs like Malwarebytes can remove many of these infections.

Antivirus, Fake tech support, Malware, Scareware, Security terms, Virus