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hurleyp

join:2000-06-20
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed

Big problems with Avast! support

"The makers of Avast antivirus software are warning users about a new scam involving phone calls from people posing as customer service reps for the company and requesting remote access to user systems."

»krebsonsecurity.com/2012/03/agha···support/
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."


Cudni
La Merma - Vigilado
Premium,MVM
join:2003-12-20
Someshire
kudos:13
Avast better act quickly and resolve the issue with 3rd party support before it further damages their brand. In the meantime don't phone them

Cudni


jadinolf
I love you Fred
Premium
join:2005-07-09
Ojai, CA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·DSL EXTREME

1 recommendation

reply to hurleyp
There are people on the avast! forum who complain about iYogi but Adam Riley has said that he has had praise about them.

Personally, I would avoid them like the plague. Before I would pay anyone $170 I would simply change my antivirus program and take the money and treat myself to something on Newegg.
--
Printed on 100% recycled bytes

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to Cudni
said by Cudni:

Avast better act quickly and resolve the issue with 3rd party support before it further damages their brand. In the meantime don't phone them

Cudni

That support guy at iYogi said it would take ONE WEEK for Avast to update! That is, unless the user upgrades to the paid version!!

What utter crap. And AVG uses iYogi. This completes the circle. All three free AV have now shown themselves to be unworthy, unreliable. Users had better start realizing that they need to PURCHASE an AV program rather than rely on a free one. Or maybe they will realize they don't need AV but can protect themselves in other ways.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:5

1 recommendation

reply to hurleyp
Pretty much all companies have this problem. Dang social engineering and scammers.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
You are claiming that "almost all companies" outsource their official support to India to an unethical company that scams the user when they call for help? That is a very sweeping statement and obviously not true! A lot of companies do not have technical support and, if they do, they do not outsource to India and even those that do don't all use unethical companies there.

Plus, what does social engineering have to do with Avast's official support company that scams the unsuspecting caller who has a problem with their Avast antivirus program? How does the Avast user trusting the support company which OFFICIALLY REPRESENTS Avast make the user guilty of being "socially engineered"? Wouldn't you trust the OFFICIAL support of your AV vendor? What reason would you have to strongly suspect it is BOGUS support?
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


DrDrew
That others may surf
Premium
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
kudos:17

2 recommendations

I really think antdude is saying that "people posing as customer service reps for the company and requesting..." is a problem that hit just about all companies. Outsourcing doesn't have anything in particular to do with it as it can be done in person or over the phone. It's social engineering and scammers in general.

Gas companies:
»www.sgvjournal.com/area-communit···k-for-id

Cable companies:
»www.wbrz.com/news/brpd-fake-cabl···g-homes/

Gas station attendants:
»www.ny1.com/content/154936/fake-···s--cash/

Microsoft:
»www.securitynewsdaily.com/1071-m···cam.html

Police:
»chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/02/12/···indiana/

Firefighters:
»www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/i···ny0.html

The real issue is, how do you know the contact is an official representative of whatever company they claim?
--
If it's important, back it up... twice. Even 99.999% availability isn't enough sometimes.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
Your instances (while interesting and most I knew about...not the gas one though as here you pump your own...if physically disabled...one or two stations only will do it for you) are not relevant to this topic.

In your instances, the scammers approached the scamee. In the case of Avast the user calls the tech support number Avast has given them and then gets scammed. There is a huge difference here. Any aware person would be extremely leery of the scenarios you listed and would probably not fall for them. But who would expect an AV vendor (a huge, well known one too) to set up their own customers which is essentially what has been happening.

I'm surprised that Avast has not been hit with a bunch of lawsuits over this. If I called Dell's hardware support number and the tech wanted permission to enter my computer remotely (and you agree to this when you buy a Dell), I certainly would sue Dell if the tech proved to be a scammer. I am a suspicious person, but I would trust that while Dell might not train their techs well so I might get poor support, I would expect Dell to not be a party to enabling scammers. That would not even cross my mind as a possibility unless the tech/scammer was not good at it and thus raised alarms in my mind. What I don't understand is why Avast, after the first report from a user, did not immediately investigate and sever connections with that outsourced tech support company.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Fush Noodle

@optonline.net
reply to hurleyp
it really boils down to a lot of people don't want to pay for software


GTHO351

@ccc.de
reply to hurleyp
My 76 y.o. mother was diddled for $499.00 by Indian scammers pretending to be from Microsoft who called her last year and convinced her she had a virus on the computer I set up for her. It had Kaspersky anti-virus installed. They logged into the computer remotely and told her Kaspersky anti-virus was infected and deleted it and conned her into paying $224.00 for NOD32 anti-virus and a service contract for $275.00 on her Visa. I got SFA help when I reported it to the police. They said they knew the scam and it was definitely shady but it was just on the right side of legal and they could do nothing about it, and told me to talk to ESET. The guy at ESET in Brisbane was much more helpful than the police. He said he'd seen the same scam more than 100 times and told me who to contact about getting a Visa refund. He said the bank would probably give me a hard time because the scammers had lawyers who would refuse the refund with the excuse that they provided a legal license and a legitimate service, and said to tell my branch manager to contact him if they gave me any flak about it. He was right. The scammers fought the bank and Visa tooth and nail to get out of giving us a refund. It took 10 weeks to get the money back but I won in the end. The sad part about all this is that poor old Mum used to enjoy regular Skype video chats with my daughter and her family in Canada. Now she's too nervous to use the computer at all unless I'm sitting there with her.


DrDrew
That others may surf
Premium
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
kudos:17

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to Mele20


The original article author initially mentioned reports of Avast users receiving calls from people claiming to be Avast support and getting scammed. This is the "social engineering" and scam antdude and I were referring to that happens to just about all companies.



The article author changed direction, installed Avast, called Avast on his own, let the tech remote access his computer, and was told he needed to pay to possibly get updates sooner through higher levels of support. Is this really the same scam or badly trained tech support?

Either way, anyone asking to remote access my computer is suspect no matter if I called them or not.

--
If it's important, back it up... twice. Even 99.999% availability isn't enough sometimes.


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
reply to hurleyp
From the article.

"I’ve frequently recommended AVAST! antivirus software to those seeking a free alternative. But I can’t understand why a company like this would risk its reputation by partnering with a support organization whose sales tactics are practically indistinguishable from those employed by peddlers of fake antivirus software or “scareware.”"

That, at the same time as releasing an update with massive problems for many people at the same time as an installer that drive-by installs 3rd party software (Chrome) on your system.

yeah.... I no longer trust Avast! on my system.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


gugarci
Premium
join:2004-02-25
Lyndhurst, NJ

3 recommendations

reply to hurleyp
Looks like Avast is terminating it's relationship with this company.
»blog.avast.com/2012/03/15/iyogi-···removed/


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Mele20
said by Mele20:

said by Cudni:

Avast better act quickly and resolve the issue with 3rd party support before it further damages their brand. In the meantime don't phone them

Cudni

That support guy at iYogi said it would take ONE WEEK for Avast to update! That is, unless the user upgrades to the paid version!!

What utter crap. And AVG uses iYogi. This completes the circle. All three free AV have now shown themselves to be unworthy, unreliable. Users had better start realizing that they need to PURCHASE an AV program rather than rely on a free one. Or maybe they will realize they don't need AV but can protect themselves in other ways.

Panda Cloud AV is a freeprogram, as is PC Tools's ThreafFire
--
--Standard disclaimers apply.--
google this "(sqrt(cos(x))*cos(200*x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(9-x^2), -sqrt(9-x^2)"


jadinolf
I love you Fred
Premium
join:2005-07-09
Ojai, CA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·DSL EXTREME
reply to gugarci
said by gugarci:

Looks like Avast is terminating it's relationship with this company.
»blog.avast.com/2012/03/15/iyogi-···removed/

Very good news.
--
Printed on 100% recycled bytes


Trollol

@74.115.176.x
Tongue in check mode on **

I think we all really know that the virus protection companies are no different than the mob, they author the viruses then come out with fixes for them. Of course they deny this, but I think we should all go on strike and not support the mob anymore. I would guess that 90% of most users could simply do a system re-install to remove a virus and not loose much. The 10% that is left? Hire your own people to write virus protection or establish a system of protection for your company. Once they realize we aren't going to support them anymore, they should move on.


hurleyp

join:2000-06-20
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed
reply to hurleyp

"Tylenol Moment"

"Avast, an antivirus maker that claims more than 150 million customers, is suspending its relationship with iYogi, a company that it has relied upon for the past two years to provide live customer support for its products."

»krebsonsecurity.com/2012/03/avas···support/

I like the non-apology apology from iYogi.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to DrDrew

Re: Big problems with Avast! support

said by DrDrew:

The real issue is, how do you know the contact is an official representative of whatever company they claim?

But think about this----

If a scammer calls someone and claims to be from Microsoft, the chances are very high that the potential victim DOES use some sort of Microsoft software.

But why on earth would a scammer call someone and claim to be from Avast? What are the odds that a potential victim chosen at random would have even heard of Avast, much less be using Avast software?

So that is an INEFFICIENT way for a scammer to work....

....unless the scammer had INSIDE INFORMATION, in this case, they KNEW who the Avast customers were!

THAT is what makes this scam so insidious. In effect, it was an [inside job by proxy].


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
said by PX Eliezer70:

... THAT is what makes this scam so insidious. In effect, it was an [inside job by proxy].

And why it makes the non-apology of iYogi's Gordon so galling. He just doesn't get it, being caught up in his love-affair with iYogi's "Serve to Sell" marketing paradigm. His perspective is that "we made a mistake", as if it was just one minor lapse somewhere by someone - when, in reality, it's a flawed paradigm that inherently ignores its own potential and likelihood for this sort of trust abuse to chronically occur... as it has on repeated occasions. A pile of poop remains a pile of poop regardless of how many towels one puts over it and however many cans of air freshener one uses - because that's what it inherently is.
--
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!" -- P.Henry, 1775

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to AVD
said by AVD:

Panda Cloud AV is a freeprogram, as is PC Tools's ThreafFire

Threatfire is not a traditional antivirus program. Panda, to me, is dead and always will be because of its ownership. I can't be more specific or my post will be deleted.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to Blackbird
iYogi's CEO's metaphor about Tylenol is badly chosen. I wondered what was meant by "A Tylenol Moment" until I read his response. He says: "Like the makers of Tylenol we think that we can improve even more." I guess he means "improve" so that his company can more easily, and quickly, maim and even kill users computers? Tylenol is a DANGEROUS AND DEADLY drug that should be removed from the market and, at the very least, made prescription only. My medical files at all physicians I see state that I am "allergic" to Tylenol and all NSAIDs (aspirin being in a separate category and reasonably safe for me). I am not technically "allergic" to Tylenol (although I am deathly allergic to all other NSAIDs) but my family doctor said I should include it in my list of drugs I am allergic to so that I would never be given it even if unconscious. I have a glass of red wine every night with dinner. That means Tylenol is a deadly drug for me. I don't want my liver destroyed by that horrific drug. My family doctor agrees that no one who drinks even one alcoholic beverage a day should take Tylenol. It is criminal that the drug, which is so deadly, is OTC.

iYogi's CEO displays either arrogance or astounding ignorance when comparing his company's experience to needing to take a Tylenol. Either way, I would never want anything to do with his business or his business model. I hope Avast does not start up business with them again. If users of the free version cannot get proper support in the Avast forum then I think Avast should charge them a reasonable fee for a set number of voice supported incidents and leave out the creeps like iyogi.

Why would iYogi think their business model is so great and "new"? Dell has been offering something similar since remote access became possible around 2004. You can purchase basic or full support from Dell when you buy your computer or later. Both mandate remote access if the phone tech deems that necessary. The full support includes support for any software problem as well as hardware. Dell offers theirs for five years and considering that if you buy full support from them you get support for damage from dropping a laptop, spilling a sticky drink all over it, etc as well as support for hardware and all software problems it's a better deal than iYogi's. If you have a Dell desktop then basic hardware support is probably the best deal but most consumers use laptops and there Dell's full support is the better deal.

--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


fan13027

join:2008-10-26
Winnipeg, MB
Reviews:
·Shaw
reply to Mele20
said by Mele20:

What reason would you have to strongly suspect it is BOGUS support?

Ummmm, they ask for $169 fees for fixing your problem ???

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
That's supposed to be for a year and they are supposed to ask that only after fixing the Avast problem you called about. The $169 is for FUTURE support that they think you will buy because they did such a good job fixing your Avast problem for free. $169 a year is about what Dell would ask for full support (hardware, insurance against drops and spills for laptops and software problems).
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
said by Mele20:

That's supposed to be for a year and they are supposed to ask that only after fixing the Avast problem you called about. The $169 is for FUTURE support that they think you will buy because they did such a good job fixing your Avast problem for free. $169 a year is about what Dell would ask for full support (hardware, insurance against drops and spills for laptops and software problems).

Whether they are only supposed to offer the support package after fixing the problem with Avast! or not, that appears not to be the case here. They offered to fix non-existent problems (the low score with a fully updated fresh Windows install?). And this was after not answering the gentleman's original question about Avast.

Call me crazy, but I think if you buy a Dell service plan, I'd expect Dell technicians to properly support the product. And if they didn't we'd probably have a thread about it. There's a reason why Avast terminated their relationship with iYogi. The $169 product might well be just as worthless as the free support.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Mele20
All I'm trying to say is that there are other free options.


burdoo

@anonymouse.org
reply to GTHO351
@GTHO351 -> The guy at ESET in Brisbane was much more helpful than the police.

Was that Rodzilla? Is the old bugger still alive and kicking?