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PSA: Watch out for Windows Movie Maker scam!

By Cookie Monster - on 11 Nov 2017, 11:08am

PSA: Watch out for Windows Movie Maker scam!

Windows Movie Maker scam is ranking high on search engines.

While Microsoft has officially discontinued its free video editing software Windows Movie Maker in January 2017, scammers have been distributing a modified version to unaware users with much success. 

According to IT security firm ESET, the Windows Movie Maker scam has been very successful due to search engine optimization of the scammer's website and continuing demand for the free video editing software. The scammer's website appears as one of the top search results on Google and Bing. 

The Windows Movie Maker scam works by prompting the user to upgrade to a full version to enjoy all features of the software. The prompts will appear when the software is launched and later when the user tries to save a document. The fee for upgrading to a full version is US$29.95 and is touted as a 25% discount on the payment website. 

If you have already installed this version of Windows Movie Maker, ESET recommends that you uninstall it and run a scan using any reputable antimalware solution. To avoid falling victim to similar scams, you are advised to download software from official sources. If a software is no longer distributed by its original maker and you really need to use it, these steps are recommended: 

  • Use a reliable security solution to detect and block malicious content
  • Consider using the official replacement for the discontinued software (in this case, it's the Windows Story Remix.)
  • Don't pay for software that is or was officially offered for free. The information on software pricing should be available online.
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