It’s bad enough that vicious Fake antivirus infections like XP Antivirus 2012, and similar are multiplying like the swine flu. Now, rogue infections have gone live, using real people to scare you into purchasing worthless programs and services.
A good friend told me that after a recent software purchase he was prompted to phone a 1- 800 number for help with the installation. He phoned, but instead of help he got hit on the head and mugged. He was lied to and told he needed to spend another couple of hundred dollars to clear his system of infection. This seemed like a new approach to me, especially since it was after a purchase and used direct phone contact.
The product was a well known registry cleaner and you all know how I feel about deep registry cleaners. They pose huge risks and do little to help performance. I feel they are a waste of money.
Any way, long story short I made a purchase of, let’s call it, Registry Pure, and guess what. Immediately after the purchase I was prompted to phone for installation assistance. I phoned. The technician was intent on showing me that my computer was compromised with malware. He was not even slightly interested in helping me with the installation. In fact he started with the false claims even before I had started the installation.
He wanted to take control of my computer and show me the problems I had. Keep in mind I’m on a desktop with no infections and no down time in the last 3 years. It tests in the top 7% of all desktops tested at PC Pitstop even though it’s 3 years old. It has no problems and is lightening fast. I let him install Go To Meeting on my system.
He took control of my computer and you can bet that I watched him very closely. He directed me to various Websites, he showed me articles and examples of malware, none of which were on my system. He tried in every way he could to sell me a reoccurring monthly service. It was in the neighborhood of $300.00 a year.
He continues to show me entries, folders, etc, and talks absolute BS, trying to scare me into a purchase. I felt like I was looking face to face with a crook, and that is because I was.
The whole thing was just a sham. It made me sick to think that a well known business had decided to expose its customers to this. The pitch was completely reliant on the crook on the other end creating fear and the false impression that my system had problems. To me the scam was laughable but the more I thought about it the more I realized that a lot of people would be pulled in by this. Many users don’t understand the difference between an example of a warning and a true warning. Many people don’t realize they need to be aware of where a warning or error is coming from. For many it’s just a warning from “their computer”. If they read it then it must be true. And that is what this sham, this LIVE ROBBER is counting on. Real live people, on the phone, taking advantage of your lack of computer experience, intentionally scaring your into sending them your hard earned cash.
Was the well known registry cleaning company the one mugging me? No, but they are the ones that sent me down the dark alley. They are the ones that advised me to phone the 800 number. They are the ones that will receive a bounty for my head.
DON’T DO IT!