Author Topic: another Avast Scam  (Read 4887 times)

Offline gelston

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another Avast Scam
« on: September 22, 2011, 02:53:07 AM »
I would like to alert you that there is another scam of AVAST! that involves the telephone rather than a website.  I have been the victim.

I have a DELL laptop.  On Aug 10, 2011 I was called at my home by a woman representing DELL Maintenance Division telling me that DELL has been noticing a high number of error messages being sent from my computer.  She was convincing in telling me that I needed a new firewall to protect against polymorphic viruses to avoid computer crashes, which were eminent.  It was expensive but it would give me all the protection I would need.  I was skeptical.  I asked where she was calling from.  She gave me the telephone number of IYOGI, which supposedly had the contract with DELL for maintenance.  We called the  number and sure enough it was IYOGI.

I purchased  a program (which ended up being AVAST!)  for big bucks.  It was supposed to be life time.  Next a "financial person" got on the line and gave me directions on how to transfer money via Western Union.  This should have been a clue for me, but I went along with it(where was my head?).  The download took 8 hours.  The next day the AVAST! symbol showed up on my computer screen.  A few days after that, a pop-up appeared on my computer screen indicating that I was using a trial version of AVAST.  I thought this must be an error and thought  nothing much of it.  Figured the company would straighten it out.  Then---- yesterday a pop-up appeared telling me that I was using a pirated version of AVAST!.

I called DELL to notify them of the scam.  I am not sure they were interested.  My question is How did the scammer get my home phone number?  How did they know that I owned a DELL laptop?
I called IYOGI.  I gave them my supposed Acct # which  did not match my answer to the secret question. They took my personal info and said that no transfer of money had come to their account from me.  Not much interest in my problem.  I looked at the emails from Western Union which I was smart enough to save.  The amount that I had sent had been converted to INR at the destination(Is that currency of India?)

I am not sure if others have experienced this.  I got on the AVAST! site and read about their scams which seemed to involve websites.  My scam involved my personal telephone number and information that I was a DELL user.  Shouldn't that be protected?

If any forum member  knows of other parties that I should alert to this scam,  please give your suggestions.

I reported this scam to the FBI IC3division.  I'm not sure what else to do. 

Offline DavidR

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 10:36:56 AM »
Well first this is not a scam of avast!, but a telephone scam, that is linked only in the fact they are using the avast product to lend a level of credibility as it is a very popular anti-virus. Essentially sine they have a free version there should have been no need to buy anything.

The telephone numbers are generally random diallers or have been bought as a list from disreputable sources.

There was such a telephone scam where they were purporting to be Microsoft representatives and the same bull about "high number of error messages being sent from my computer, malware, <insert own doom scenario>, etc."

The thing is how the hell would they know your address/telephone number based on your computer IP/MAC address, the answer is that they can't and that really is where the alarm bells should start to ring and not when they are telling you how to transfer money using western union.

Well you have taken the right step in reporting it, I don't know if your local Police have a fraud service as this really is what it is. Though I don't think this would fall into the Internet Fraud remit as it was a telephone call.
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Offline bob3160

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2011, 05:20:09 PM »
As far as I know, there aren't any Avast Scams.
Your post mentions two possibilities, Dell and iYogi.
It could also just simply have been a cold canvas scam phone call
and they got lucky when they mentioned Dell. Lots of people own a Dell computer.
I happen to own 3 myself.
I would certainly pursue the matter but please, put the blame where it belongs
and that certainly isn't with Avast.
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Offline DavidR

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2011, 05:40:49 PM »
Neither Dell or iYogi would be able to identify you by your IP address (which changes) and also have your telephone, it is nothing other than a speculative telephone scam.

Just do a google search for Microsoft Telephone Scam and there is no scam by microsoft, just the scamming pond life using common names. Interestingly this one has just reared its head and this time it is/was an MS partner responsible for the scam and they have been binned.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Microsoft+Telephone+Scam

This however was the one which was doing the rounds some time ago, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/18/phone-scam-india-call-centres. So looks like the same telephone scam but just a different script and company names used.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 05:43:17 PM by DavidR »
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Offline FreewheelinFrank

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 07:46:58 PM »
As far as I know, there aren't any Avast Scams.
Your post mentions two possibilities, Dell and iYogi.
It could also just simply have been a cold canvas scam phone call
and they got lucky when they mentioned Dell. Lots of people own a Dell computer.
I happen to own 3 myself.
I would certainly pursue the matter but please, put the blame where it belongs
and that certainly isn't with Avast.

Where would that be then, Bob? Oh yes, I remember:

Maybe if your stupid enough to fall for something like that, you deserve it.  ;D

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=57929.msg488338#msg488338

Yes, this scam does involve installing anti-virus programs:

Quote
The callers then use remote login software to gain access to the user's computer, and "fix" the problems; in some cases they also install programs including antivirus and even entire operating system upgrades. They then demand a fee.

The UK police have determined that the actions constitute fraud because there is nothing wrong with the users' machines, and that the money is extracted under false pretences. Scores of people who have contacted the Guardian after being scammed have demanded, and usually received, repayments from banks and credit card providers.

Information passed to the Guardian by sources familiar with the volume of transactions made by the fake support call companies suggest the scam is worth roughly £2m per year. It has grown in size over the past two years, and is believed to be masterminded by one man based in the city of Kota in Rajasthan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/22/microsoft-drops-partner-accused-scam

Perhaps part of the reason the scam was able to grow for so long was the attitude of people like you Bob?
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Offline FreewheelinFrank

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2011, 07:59:27 PM »
My scam involved my personal telephone number and information that I was a DELL user.  Shouldn't that be protected?
 

Where are Dell's call centres? My guess would be India.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2006/sep/03/business.india?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
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Offline FreewheelinFrank

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 08:12:12 PM »
My scam involved my personal telephone number and information that I was a DELL user.  Shouldn't that be protected?
 

Where are Dell's call centres? My guess would be India.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2006/sep/03/business.india?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Yup.

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We have offices in Bangalore, Hydrabad & Delhi/NCR . Some of the names who work with us for their exclusive hiring includes WNS, SiTEL, ISGN, Mphasis, Dell, Transworks/ Minacs, Ocwen, IBM and others.

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Offline bob3160

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 11:28:33 PM »
@FreewheelinFrank,

You don't deserve an answer. As usual you're coming off half cocked.
Have a great day.  :)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 11:30:49 PM by bob3160 »
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Offline gelston

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 06:10:34 AM »
As follow up, I called DELL today and worked my way to a Senior Customer Service manager. They guarantee the security of their customers information. The problem apparently is not unknown to Dell, HP and others in the industry. He asked if the person who called had a foreign accent and indeed she did. I was told it's an  international ring quite proficient in hacking personal information.  Perhaps it was a cold call as someone suggested and the companies mentioned were random .  The industry has been investigating it for a while. The manager I spoke to said he would take my story to his security committee and their outreach resources and keep me informed of any progress. I suggested that his company send their customers a warning. I guess that is all I can do.

Offline FreewheelinFrank

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 07:13:13 AM »
As follow up, I called DELL today and worked my way to a Senior Customer Service manager. They guarantee the security of their customers information. The problem apparently is not unknown to Dell, HP and others in the industry. He asked if the person who called had a foreign accent and indeed she did. I was told it's an  international ring quite proficient in hacking personal information.  Perhaps it was a cold call as someone suggested and the companies mentioned were random .  The industry has been investigating it for a while. The manager I spoke to said he would take my story to his security committee and their outreach resources and keep me informed of any progress. I suggested that his company send their customers a warning. I guess that is all I can do.

Indeed there are people "quite proficient in hacking personal information" working in Indian call centres, as the link I posted previously shows, and Dell have call centres in India. I would suggest that the fact that the caller knew you had a Dell computer indicates that Dell's customer information has leaked, despite what they say.

I find it highly unlikely that it was just a cold call.

In fact a little Googling adds more evidence:

Quote
Hmm, that's interesting. I bought a Dell PC recently, and had to deal extensively with their Indian call centre when it turned out to be pants and deserving of a full refund. Shortly after, I got one of those scam calls. It does sound like someone in a legit call centre is passing on phone numbers.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/jul/20/phone-calls-india-scams

Quote
Be very careful if someone rings you saying they are from Dell and telling you that you have a virus etc.etc.

A man rang us today – he knew our name - knew we had a Dell computer and he was ringing to inform of a serious virus affecting Dell computers which could not be detected by Virus programs.

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110401132754AAAn3CR

I can't see any examples of people saying "They said I had a Dell computer but I don't, so I knew it was a scam", which you'd expect if they were just trying their luck.
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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 10:16:53 AM »
My scam involved my personal telephone number and information that I was a DELL user.  Shouldn't that be protected?
 

Where are Dell's call centres? My guess would be India.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2006/sep/03/business.india?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
hmmmm....when i call they talk swedish or Norwegian   ;D
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Offline bob3160

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2011, 12:31:07 PM »
@gelston.
Unfortunately any time you receive anything unexpected, something you didn't initiate,
you need to be careful and suspicious as to the validity of this call or email or other form of communication.
In today's world, trust always needs to be followed by verification before you act on what's being offered.
The more people I talk to, the more of these types of horror stories I run into.
Hopefully the lesson learned from this incident wasn't to expensive and will not make you too cynical.
There are fortunately still more honest people in this world than crooks.  :)
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Offline gelston

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2011, 02:50:28 AM »
Another follow up-  Would you believe that I received another call, a male with an Asian accent, claiming to be from IYOGI saying that my computer was sending error messages...... well I blew up, called some names and told him I had reported the scam to the FBI.

Anyway, here is the telephone number that was on my caller ID  1-999-910-0134  Anyone know the source of the number?

Offline Asyn

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2011, 05:34:18 AM »
Anyway, here is the telephone number that was on my caller ID  1-999-910-0134  Anyone know the source of the number?

http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-999-910-0134
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Offline FreewheelinFrank

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Re: another Avast Scam
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2011, 08:10:56 AM »
Another follow up-  Would you believe that I received another call, a male with an Asian accent, claiming to be from IYOGI saying that my computer was sending error messages...... well I blew up, called some names and told him I had reported the scam to the FBI.

Anyway, here is the telephone number that was on my caller ID  1-999-910-0134  Anyone know the source of the number?

There's something very fishy about this. For all the genuine comments I can see on the internet from customers who have used this company, there seem to be as many from people saying they were cold called. The curious thing is that in both cases, the technician claims to have found multiple problems and ends up charging $169.99!!

There's also the Dell link and the fact that Iyogi has its call centres in India.

Another piece of evidence here:

Quote
Ah right I will avoid it - an odd thing happened, after buying the PC within a week or so we got a phone call from India asking if the computer was running slowly, and would we navigate to a site where they would help us fix it... well the computer was running fine, and alarm bells rang - it turned out to be dodgy, the funny thing was the guy at Dell was also in India... hmmm a bit suspicious!

Thanks - and if anyone has any more thoughts - feel free to put them my way.

http://forums.techguy.org/general-security/1017822-does-look-like-genuine-email.html

Could it possibly be that somebody at Iyogi is using the Dell customer database to make scam calls?
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