BEWARE of the most common VPN Scams!
I might not be the first one to tell you, but the BAD guys have now overpopulated the world – some are sitting in the White House, some are invading their neighbours and others are… well.. running VPN scams.
It wasn’t a long ago that this three-letter acronym (VPN) took the world by storm by its amazing ability to encrypt web traffic and bypass geo-blocks. We loved it… unless we found some VPN companies doing the dirty work.
The tool made for our security has now increasingly been exploited to rob us! I know, I know… exploitation happens everywhere, but if the company itself is running a scam, then you should better guard yourself against it.
That’s why we’ve brought you a VPN warning list, detailing all the VPN scams currently swirling in the industry:
Major VPN Scams to Avoid in 2022
Here’s the list of VPN scams that you should avoid during VPN shopping:
- Free VPN services
- Fake VPNs
- Bogus VPN claims and faulty features
- Suspicious pricing policy
- Fake reviews, customer comments, and testimonials
- Third-party sale sites
- Unsafe VPN websites
VPN Scam 1: Free VPN Services – they are much more pricey than you might think
The word “Free” itself is an obvious red flag, reflecting the biggest fraud that has been going on for centuries. The elders told us that there isn’t such thing as a free product – you must be paying for it some way or another. In this case, you’re trading off your privacy and security in exchange for free access to streaming sites.
Free VPN services are synonymous with a tool for collecting data logs and making a profit out of it (Oops, sorry for letting the cat out of the bag). Yes, all this time you have been using a free VPN service to visit websites, stream videos, and chat with your friend is being logged in the VPN servers. This information is then sold to the highest bidders and advertising agencies so they can show you personalized ads.
Not only this is a threat to privacy but also a violation of the trust we have in VPN tools. That’s why we repeatedly advised against using free services that are new and have not been independently audited. These services are also added to our VPNs to avoid’s list.
If you would like to save bucks on your VPN subscription, go for the cheaper options instead such as Surfshark. You can also benefit from the 30-day money-back guarantee that most VPN providers offer. This allows you to test a VPN service for a certain period of time and cancel the subscription if it ruffles your feathers.
VPN Scam 2: Fake VPNs – Hyperbolized claims that are too good to be true
Some VPN companies exaggerate their ability and market themselves as the best VPN provider, but they don’t actually provide even the basics. For example, they don’t have the resources to encrypt your online traffic through standard VPN protocols. This means everything you do over the internet is exposed to your ISP, third parties, government, and other snoopers.
Moreover, a fake VPN may even infect your system with malware or any other spyware. They sneaky install tracking cookies into your system to extract data from your online activities for phishing emails and targeted ads. They could even hack your accounts, take over your systems with ransomware or steal your private data and banking information.
If a VPN service isn’t legitimate, they turn your system into a botnet. A “botnet” is a series of devices that are connected to the internet. All of these devices are infected with malware and can be used and controlled by a hacker without your knowledge. So, if you’re using a hacked VPN, hackers can even sell your bandwidth to other buyers. A VPN owned by individuals with nefarious intentions may also keep logs of your personal data so they can make a profit out of it by selling it to someone else.
Therefore, it is recommended to have a thorough test to see if your VPN is legitimate and working. You can also conduct a speed test and other tests to decide if it’s worth your investment.
VPN Scam 3: Bogus VPN claims and faulty features
Just have a quick survey of a VPN market and you will see thousands of them claiming to be the best. They represent them as the best streaming VPN, best torrenting VPN or the secure and Best gaming VPN, but most of their claims are false. Here are a few common examples:
- Fastest VPN: Many VPN services advertise themselves as the “world’s fastest VPN.” Obviously, it’s the marketing stunt, and in reality, they are the complete opposite. Most VPNs usually have average speeds (mostly because their servers are overcrowded with users). The only VPN we believe is the fastest is ExpressVPN. It’s recommended to test your VPN speed before purchasing.
- No Logs: Almost all VPN providers claim to be a “no logs” or “logless” VPN, but the truth is; most of them are not! Some VPNs may collect logs some way or another, from logging your session time, amount of bandwidth used to logging of your web activities such as the website you visit, online conversations, etc.
- DNS and IP address “leak protection” features: Many VPNs claim to have impenetrable security features that don’t actually work. They claim to provide protection against IP and DNS leaks. The only way to verify their claims is to run a VPN test.
VPN Scam 4: Suspicious pricing policy
VPNs have now started offering a lifetime subscription option. WAIT… IS THIS FOR REAL? What if I die the next day?
Opting for a long-term subscription plan may seem smart at first sight, but after digging into the subject, you can end up realizing that it could be a scam. Let’s be rational for a second: Using the same service for a long time is not that fun, and no service can guarantee consistent speed and performance. They can’t even keep up with the pace and incorporate the latest trends in the VPN industry.
A lifetime VPN subscription is a relationship that you don’t want to commit to, believe me! It’s a subscription that you get in exchange for a one-time fee, which, theoretically, covers your VPN usage for life. This may sound like a money-saving deal that you don’t want to miss. But you know what? Deals work best when both sides get the benefit out of it. In this case, however, you will not get the performant Virtual Private Network you desire.
Besides, many VPNs with a lifetime subscription are likely referring to their company’s lifetime, and not yours. Some of the fraudulent companies exist only for a couple or more years, grabbing as many subscriptions as they can get before vanishing into the thin air.
VPN Scam 5: Fake reviews, customer comments, and testimonials
It feels like every week a new VPN service launches along with the dozen fake review pages claiming it to be ground-breaking!
I have even seen companies flooding comment sections, forums, and social media platforms with fake reviews and testimonials of their products. And this is not something new! This trend has been going on for centuries and it doesn’t seem to be dwindling any sooner.
Some companies have even hired paid commenters endorsing how great their services are, especially if someone posted a negative comment. So, whenever you consider purchasing a VPN service, always go to a legitimate source (like us) for reviews and testimonials.
VPN Scam 6: Third-party sales sites
Some VPN companies are affiliated with third parties that offer lifetime subscriptions. I mean why would anyone trust their banking details to third-party websites? Why is the VPN service even partnering with them for their sales and discounts? This doesn’t look good at all…
Besides, middlemen should generally be avoided, as they could be scamming you or charging you extra than the original amount. I have even seen people getting their subscriptions cancelled just because they have purchased them from a third party. And god forbid if you run into any trouble, neither the VPN company nor the third-party sale website will come to your aid.
So, here’s the word of advice: Don’t purchase through a sales website, but from a legitimate VPN website directly!
VPN Scam 7: Unsafe VPN website
Always, I repeat, ALWAYS read through the product description when purchasing any VPN service. Sometimes the website could be fake or a phishing scam for extracting your information. A way to distinguish between the fake and legitimate ones is by reading through their descriptions. The fake ones always have two or more grammar errors, unsubstantial claims, and poor graphical designs.
For example, MySafeVPN is a fraud VPN provider that has an HTTP website, and not HTTPS. The difference is that while HTTPS encrypts data, HTTP does not. Obviously, if a VPN’s website is not secure, there’s no guarantee that their product would be secure too! A website claiming to offer military-grade encryption but does not even have an HTTPS website, you can be sure they are lying.
How to Avoid VPN Scams?
Here’s how you can avoid VPN scams:
- Avoid installing any free VPN app.
- Look out for a VPN update scam. Always install updates and VPN security apps from a legitimate website.
- Do not purchase from a third-party sales website.
- Thoroughly verify the vendor’s business model before purchasing a lifetime deal.
- Choose a spyproof VPN service.
- Choose only a reliable VPN service with a known positive reputation in the industry.
- Watch out for VPNs with privacy breaches and controversies.
- Ensure the VPN is based in a privacy-friendly country such as the British Virgin Islands and Panama. Note that the worst VPNs mostly belong to the Five Eyes International surveillance countries.
Can VPNs steal Data?
Are VPNs a scam?
What VPNs are legit?
Does a VPN protect you from hackers?
Do VPNs protect from viruses?
Conclusion -Watch Out For VPN Scams This 2022
If you want to protect yourself from VPN scams, it’s essential that you go for a legitimate VPN provider such as ExpressVPN. Unfortunately, VPN companies nowadays are focusing more on selling their product than providing quality services. By identifying the scams on this list, you can avoid them and make a wise decision.
You may also like to read more about ExpressVPN- a legit VPN choice for users in Canada