Ever since Congress killed FCC’s internet privacy regulations and U.S. President Trump signed the bill which would allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to sell your Internet browsing history to advertisers, there has been an overnight surge in netizens rushing to sign up for VPNs.
However, as a result, there are certain groups of people attempting to take advantage of this situation by cashing in on phony VPN scams.
Vice’s Nicholas Deleon recently investigated one such case of a company claiming to be a VPN provider offering privacy services in a series of scam emails.
The shady VPN provider calling itself ‘MySafeVPN’ purported to be affiliated with Plex, a media streamer system, and began sending messages to Plex users in emails highlighting the recent changes in the U.S. privacy bills and U.K. privacy laws.
Intrigued by the emails, Deleon contacted and forwarded the email to Plex’s co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Scott Olechowski, who confirmed MySafeVPN was indeed in no way related to them.
Attempting to uncover the curious mystery of MySafeVPN, Deleon decided to confront the company itself by dialling the listed MySafeVPN phone number. Safe to say, the conversation between both parties did not end well when the guy on MySafeVPN’s side was confronted and ended up hurling insults at Vice’s Deleon.
Along with the overruling of the FCC’s internet privacy bill, America’s war on privacy has clearly brought with it an underlying problem; companies looking to exploit the fears of Internet users who are now no longer under protection from having their private data sold without permission.
This may be the first case of many scams that are likely to crop up in the future now that more people are taking a renewed interest in VPNs. And while MySafeVPN has since been reportedly taken down, we should be wary of any fake VPNs on the market which seem too good to be true.
If you or maybe your family and friends are considering a VPN service, do try to subscribe to a VPN which is reputable with good reviews.
When you sign up with your VPN provider, it is best to pick one you trust because there are some out there who may turn out to be less credible with your data than they claim to be.
But how can you tell if your VPN is trustworthy or being a shady VPN before you subscribe to one?
1. Do your homework.
Do some research and read reviews on the VPN you are interested in. There are plenty of independent websites such as TorrentFreak or That One Privacy Site which offer comprehensive reviews of several VPNs.
These sites are a good start for any uninformed user who wishes to compare between VPNs before committing to one.
2. Watch out for “free” or “low-cost” keywords.
We know that nothing comes free in life. So if a VPN claims to offer “free” subscription or at a “low-cost” or sometimes even a “lifetime” subscription, these can be red alerts to watch out for.
Even if a VPN might be popular among friends for being a “free VPN”, this does not establish its credibility as a VPN that may be entirely trustworthy.
Take for example the popular VPN service Hola which was caught selling traffic of its free Hola users to a botnet.
“Five Eyes”, “Nine Eyes” or “Fourteen Eyes”, you may or may not have heard of these terms but they were stemmed from the same beginning: the UKUSA Agreement. The countries listed in the Fourteen Eyes comprise of:
The countries created some sort of an alliance for a global surveillance system for the purpose of sharing intelligence and to “master the internet”. It is often advised to avoid VPN providers registered in the Fourteen Eyes countries.
Fortunately, BolehVPN is Seychelles-based, which means we are not operating under any mandatory data retention laws like the U.S Patriot Act or EU law.