Windows Movie Maker scam sneaked into Google search results

Scammer managed to end up in the top Google search results with fake Windows Movie Maker download site

Windows Movie Maker scam

Windows Movie Maker is a program that probably every Windows user has tried at least few times in the life.[1] Microsoft discontinued the program in January 2017 and replaced it with Windows Story Remix.[2] However, scammers continue distributing a fake version of the video editing program which asks to buy the full version of the video editing app.

Unfortunately, Windows Movie Maker scam might be successful. The download website of a fake program is easy to find using the most popular search engine – Google. ESET discovered[3] the fraudulent website tops at first Google results after entering “Movie Maker” or “Windows Movie Maker” keywords to the search bar.

Therefore, unsuspecting or rushing computer users can quickly download a video editing app without checking developer’s credentials. Indeed, the fake program is not developed by Microsoft. Thus, it’s the main warning sign, if you haven’t heard about the discontinued distribution of the original Windows Movie Maker.

Scammers offer to buy a full version of the Movie Maker for $29.99

The “trial version” of Windows Movie Maker greets users with a pop-up message stating that they need to buy a full version of the program in order to enjoy all features. This notification should be another sign that something is not right.

Windows Movie Maker by Microsoft was available for free since the release in 2000.[4] Therefore, users could use all its feature from the moment they downloaded it.

Furthermore, users who clicked on the “Buy Now” button in the appeared prompt, are redirected to the payment website. People are offered to purchase the full version of the program for $29.99. Of course, scammers provide some perks – 25% discount. However, it’s still not a great deal. This program is created only for swindling money from inattentive computer users.

Do not fall for scam: details that you should pay attention to

Scammers used SEO to rank in the top positions of Google search results. Undoubtedly, this fact helps to reach users worldwide and trick them into downloading a Windows Movie Maker virus.[5] According to the latest data, the scam has already affected users in the Philippines, Israel, Finland, and Denmark.

However, when downloading and installing new programs, you have to be careful, attentive and always pay attention to details:

  • Always use reliable download sources, such as publisher's or developer's site.
  • Investigate the download website. Read the information about the developers and check facts online.
  • Read expert opinions about your chosen program.
  • Read user reviews on various forums.
  • Read EULA, Terms of Use and other provided documents attentively.
  • Do not rush paying for the license. The legit program usually offers testing it for free for a week or 30 days first. However, the case of Windows Movie Maker scam teaches that you should also make sure that you are not asked to pay for the free program.

The hoax website was reported to Google. Thus, it should be soon banned from the search giant. However, users are warned to remain vigilant. The fake app might be available on file-sharing sites or advertised in software bundles.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

Alice Woods is the News Editor at 2-spyware. She has been sharing her knowledge and research data with 2spyware readers since 2014.

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