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7 Worst VPN Scams You Need to Avoid in 2023

Last updated: June 10, 2021

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Using a virtual private network (VPN) is a trend in almost every household these days. The problem is, as much as we may use the Internet, most of us are not tech experts or VPN aficionados.

So, how do we know when we are buying into a reputable VPN service, and when we are being roped into a VPN scam?

Falling victim to VPN scams is a real worry nowadays, and many people have personal horror stories about how they fell prey to scam artists and damaging (or humiliating) online ploys.

So, short of investing hours studying to become VPN experts ourselves, how can we keep from being sucked into the next potential scam?

The best way to avoid a VPN scam is to listen to the security experts and learn to make educated, discerning choices whenever you are committing to any service online.

Keep on reading to find out how to identify some of the worst VPN scams, and the most surefire ways to help you outsmart them.

7 Worst VPN Scams to Avoid

While there are too many scams to name, these are 7 of the worst scams that cyber-criminals use when trying to take advantage of VPN users in 2023:

Scam 1: Free VPNs

Free VPN services are one of my pet peeves. Whenever you see the word free, you should immediately wonder, “what’s the catch?”

The main reason for the suspicion when it comes to using a free VPN is that it is unclear when using a subscription-free service how this provider is making money.

If you are not paying for your VPN subscription, your free VPN service is likely making ends meet in less kosher ways, like by selling your information to third parties or by allowing malware or ads to pop up on your device.

On top of this, free VPNs often have questionable safety and security features, and very frequently log user activity so they can sell it to vendors.

If you value your privacy and security and are looking for headache-free, buffer-free access to your blocked sites, a paid, reliable VPN is the way to go.

Free VPNs are like free lunch — there’s no such thing.

Scam 2: Faux VPNs

The only thing worse than a free VPN is a fake VPN. Fake websites can be very convincing nowadays, easily tricking users into thinking they are the real thing.

If you accidentally trust a fake site, you may be opening yourself up to a world of trouble, as fake sites are a simple way for scammers to access your private information — all of which you are voluntarily entering! Criminals who create fake VPNs can very quickly get their hands on your password, user information, and some very sensitive data, all of which they can (and will) easily use to their financial benefit — and to your detriment.

So — how can you avoid falling into the trap of a Fake VPN?

The most important measure you can take to keep yourself away from these phishing scams and fake VPNs is to make sure to do your research on reputable VPNs based on trusted review sites. Do not simply trust the results of a basic google search, and make sure to look at the URL of the website you are accessing to see if it looks like the one you are actually aiming to access, not a knockoff URL.

If you are unsure if the website seems reputable (even if it appears to have a copyright on the homepage), scroll through the menu, read through the VPN policies, and search for lack of professional text, discrepancies in terms and conditions, or, often, spelling and grammar mistakes, which can be telltale signs of a faux site.

Scam 3: VPN ripoffs

While there is certainly a range of expensive products and services on the market that provide more high-end resources to VPN users, expensive does not always mean better. Sometimes, expensive is just a ripoff. If VPN providers can charge users more because they believe they can convince users they are offering a good deal or better services, they will hike their prices.

So, how can you protect yourself from being ripped off?

The best way to avoid being scammed into spending too much of your hard-earned money on a VPN is to do your homework. Compare the costs of the top reliable VPN services to familiarize yourself with the price range and what you should expect for this price.

Also, make sure to check for popular deals and promos before committing to a plan, which will often lower an expensive subscription price for a reputable VPN plan down to a fair price.

The bottom line: trust your gut. If the cost doesnt seem to add up, its likely a VPN scam not a great deal. Dont fall for it.

Scam 4: Unreliable reviews

While the easiest way to get a feel for people’s satisfaction with a service is to check the reviews in the Apple mobile App Store or the Google Play Store, these reviews are often faked, skewed, or just plain unreliable.

When you download an app from app stores on your Apple iOS or Android devices, the app is often rated right after purchase, before the VPNs have actually been used fully.

If you are looking for a comprehensive, honest review of any VPNs, look at a reliable VPN review website that is written by actual VPN researchers. Be careful not to fall into the trap of reading reviews that are sponsored by the VPN company you are trying to evaluate. If you click on the link on the review site and each link takes you to the same VPN company site, you are likely reading data that is skewed and sponsored by a particular VPN company.

The best way to avoid falling for unreliable reviews is to find your go-to site with a reliable team of VPN experts who can help share objective data to help you weigh out the pros and cons of the VPNs on the market. And remember: while a VPN company website is a great resource for information about using that particular product, its reviews are obviously biased!

Scam 5: VPN No-logging policies

It is easy for a VPN to add the words “no-logging” to its website. It is also pretty easy, as an informed consumer, to do your homework and check out if this policy is actually verified by a third-party auditor.

When a VPN claims it does not log your information, it usually means “no-logging except for…” It’s on you, the VPN user, to find out the exceptions to this statement. Do they log your timestamp only? Do they log your personal information? Will they sell any user data to third parties?

It is also vital to check and see where your VPN is based. Is it based in a 5/9/14 Eyes Surveillance location? If so, can you really rely on its no-logs policy? Read the fine print to determine its precise privacy policies, as this is the only way you can make sure that your data will not be shared with any government or authorities.

A VPN in US territory may seem trustworthy, but it may actually be a detriment in terms of data retention laws.

Scam 6: Fake or exaggerated claims

Are you buying into a VPN’s false or exaggerated advertising hook? Do you really believe it is the “#1 VPN in the USA?” or the “fastest VPN in the history of VPNs?”

The VPN market is full of products and services with questionably true claims. If a VPN provider claims to be the fastest, do your homework and check out some of its basic features to help you determine if it really is what it claims to be. Has it undergone any verified speed tests? What about its number (and locations) of servers? Is its size so limited that it is likely to have subscribers crowded on its servers?

Check out a reputable VPN provider review site to get an idea of your VPN’s track record. And remember, the best way to get your data is from objective evaluations, not from catchy false claims.

Scam 7: VPN apps seeking private information

If you are using a VPN, one of the reasons you may have opted to subscribe is to help fulfill your privacy and security needs. But some people fall into the trap of compromising the very privacy and security they are trying to protect, willingly entering their address, credit card info, phone number, or even social security number on the web.

If you are not 100% certain you are on a verified-legitimate VPN website, never enter any personal information. And know that any provider you choose in the year 2021 should offer some method of payment aside from credit card payment, such as Bitcoin or PayPal. Users should not be asked to share this sensitive information on a VPN website if they are not comfortable doing so.

No matter how many times we are warned not to share our sensitive data online, a lot of us repeatedly ignore our better judgment and fall into this trap. We look for VPNs that offer top-notch encryption, but willingly enter some of our most sensitive data before actually securing our connection. The only way to keep your private data out of the hands of criminals is to keep it private.


Unless you are willing to put in the many hours it will take to become a privacy expert, the very best way to avoid VPN scams is to do your due diligence and learn the most common ways to avoid being taken advantage of online.

And remember: VPN subscriptions that are reputable and reliable often require paid subscriptions. While it may seem like a bummer to pay for a VPN app, the small subscription fee is insignificant compared to the amount of damage that can be done if you encounter a security breach with fake VPN websites, which could lead to a serious breach where your personal information is exposed to cyber-criminals.

Here are the top VPNs that we can vouch for, all of which have widespread server locations, a secure VPN connection, verified security, and privacy features  including AES 256bit encryption; and access to the most indemand content on all of the popular streaming services.

Click on these links to find out more about these VPNs:

☑️ ExpressVPN — $6.67 —  Find Out More
☑️ NordVPN — $3.71 —  Find Out More
☑️ Surfshark — $2.49 —  Find Out More

Most importantly, all three of these options offer a free trial, so you can test out each VPN service for 30 days and get a full refund if at any point you are unhappy with its service. You can go to these official sites and scroll through the menu to learn in detail about what these services have to offer.

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