Driver Scams Are Thriving… Beware!
You know what makes me angry? You know what makes me so angry I could gnaw the bark off a Maple tree? Companies that stoop to fraud and deceit to lure and trick people into downloading, installing or buying something… most of the time something worthless. And few do this better than companies that make driver updater programs. One company in particular, appears to thrive on it. It’s no wonder we find so many of those useless driver updater programs installed on so many computers.
Here’s a true story. This recently happened to my friend and colleague, Darcy. And I’m going to step aside and let her tell you her story.
I was looking up Canon printer for a customer who was having a problem with her Canon printer. I did a search for her printer model. Without giving it a lot of thought, and hurrying, I clicked the link that was at top of the search results… before realizing it was NOT Canon.
The next thing I know… I am on the page for the driver download. Still not realizing that I was NOT on a real Canon page, I decided to check with support to see if there was an error was on the site’s database. I came to a support page for a driverupdate program, THEN I realize I am not on a Canon site at all, but am on Slimware’s Slimcleaner/driverupdate site.
I have always considered myself prudent and careful when browsing the web. I am usually extremely wary when visiting pages with which I am not familiar. But the set up that Slimware devised for the driverupdate scam was so real, I didn’t realize I was not on a legitimate site.
If I were Canon, I would demand they take this kind of trickery off the web… and sue them. However, that is probably very unlikely. I’m sure that if they do this with Canon, they do it with many other common products. Apparently, they are scamming so many people with their aggressive and fraudulent techniques, and making so much money, they can afford to pay big bucks to be at the top of the search engines for all relevant driver searches. They do it for one reason: To make money by tricking people into downloading their driver update software. It is so unfair that any good honest companies are struggling financially – or going out of business – while dishonest companies thrive by tricking unwary users into downloading (and buying) useless software.
I digress. After realizing that this Slimware company was not above using highly sophisticated trickery to entice users in to downloading their software. They even go so far as to use brand names and logos… even the Microsoft logo.
To see how far this company would go to trick people into download and using their software, I decided I’d try other printer driver and driver searches to see what happened.
My next search was Canon Printer Drivers. And guess who was at the top? You guessed it. And looking very official with the Canon Trademark logo? They URL? cannon.driverupdate.net. What a hoax… And if you think, well “you spelled Canon” wrong, canon.driverupdate.net takes you right to driverupdate.net/articles/dl/canon-drivers, which is another Slimware scam site. This site imparts some seemingly good advice (NOT!):
About Canon Drivers:
This page discusses Canon Drivers and how to properly identify and download them. It also explains the importance of keeping your drivers up-to-date and some of the challenges with updating Canon Drivers. Note: You can automatically download the correct Canon Drivers by downloading the DriverUpdate™ Utility below.
I was getting very angry that this company has become so successful and is making so much money by using so much fraud and deception.
Here are some more results:
I searched for Dell Printer Drivers. Dell, who, of course, has tons of money, was at the top, but driversupport.com was second and filled the middle of my screen. Slimware driverupdate ad was much more prominent than the real Dell site.
I also searched for HP Printer Drivers, and who won the 1st place blue ribbon? You guessed it: driverupdate.net. And, of course, they spent a lot of time and money making their deceptive site look very much like an official HP web site.
Intrigued that a company would sink to this level of sophisticated deception in order to trick people and make a lot of money, I did a search for Windows 10 Drivers. We are aware of those ads that popup on the Web and tell users that they need new or updated drivers. Guess who was in first place when searching for Windows 10 drivers? Yes, you guessed right! Their trickery works again… driverupdate. They were right there at the top, and looking very official too!
I am sure I could go on and on, and do dozens and dozens of searches for drivers, and find Slimware’s driverupdate at or near the top. The ones I picked were at random, and this tells me they must be paying MILLIONS of dollars to have this many top spots (ads) for such a wide variety of searches.
As I said above, I am usually pretty careful, but was I just trying to find something quickly. I was busy, it was early in the morning, and I’ll admit I darned near got fooled.
It’s such a shame a company like Slimware can make so much money through dishonestly They are making millions and millions of dollars and spending millions of dollars on deceptive ads, and pay enough for those ads to land them at or near the top of most search engine results.
Life is not fair, and it’s not fair that so many honest companies go out of business every day because they refuse to take the low road. Yet dishonest companies who use deception and trickery to play upon the the trusting nature of people, thrive and prosper.
I hope my experience helps you avoid falling for the deceptive advertising of Slimware and its driverupdate web site.
Her are some screen shots to go along with my experiences outlined above:
Above: Using brand names and logos to trick you into thinking this is the real thing.
Using Microsoft logos and registered trademarks, Slimware spares no deception to lure you into clicking on this ad.