A few days we reported on a new service which claimed to offer lifetime anonymous BitTorrent for a $50.00 one-off payment. As the service ‘launched’ we had our doubts, but understandably some people decided to give it a try since it was so cheap. It turns out that the offer was indeed too good to be true.
The ability to partake in some anonymous BitTorrent-ing is becoming increasingly desirable. A reputable VPN service, offering fast transfer speeds and unlimited transfers costs around $10 to $20 per month, so when a ‘new’ service called VPN4Life was about to launch last week offering incredibly cheap prices, we took a closer look.
In a nutshell, a representative from VPN4Life claimed they were about to offer a fast, 128 bit encrypted, fully unlimited and anonymous PPTP service – all for just a one-off payment of $50.00. It seemed to good to be true and in our report we said as much, warning people away from the service.
Nevertheless, since the offer was so cheap, some people decided to take the chance. After handing their cash over via PayPal, customers did not receive a PPTP VPN service, but an executable file named ‘VPN 4 Life PC.exe’. Sadly, this was neither new nor original code, but a piece of software designed to protect people’s privacy when using public WiFi networks. The ad-supported software, called Hotspot Shield, is already available for free from AnchorFree.com. The scammers at VPN4Life simply renamed the file to make it look like their own work.
Confirmation that the two files are identical can be obtained by checking the MD5 checksum, which can be viewed as a type of digital fingerprint. The results for each file are identical.
4b34079841d43799e5d0849ac16feb61 VPN 4 Life PC.exe
The VPN4Life site now has a note on it stating that if anyone is unhappy with the service, that’s too bad. “No refunds will be given if you are dissatisfied with our services,” says the site’s recently-added Terms and Conditions. However, according to reports from purchasers, a complaint to PayPal seems to do the trick.
Too good to be true? You bet.