An old scam has resurfaced recently that we want you to be aware of. Scammers posing as computer support specialists from AVAST, Microsoft, Symantec, and even name-brand computer makers such as Dell, have been contacting people via email and phone, including AVAST’s Chief Strategy Officer, Glenn Taylor.
The cybercrooks claim that they work for the company’s support department and have received notification that the victim’s computer is infected with malware. They offer to verify the problem and convince the target to allow them remote access to the "infected" computer. After some technical shenanigans, the scammer suggests that the victim needs additional software, which they offer as a solution to the “problem.” The solution can cost as much as $300.
“These scammers prey on the trust of innocent people by tricking them into giving access to their computers,” said Taylor. “If you get contacted by someone that claims your computer is broken or infected, then don’t respond. Either delete the email or hang up.”
In 2012, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cracked down on fraudsters posing as technical support personnel from major companies, but the scam is growing again. Enough so that this week New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a warning to New Yorkers Tuesday.
“Consumer fraudsters come in all shapes and sizes, from false advertisers and illegal pet sellers, to identity thieves and predatory lenders. Unfortunately, we can now add scammers posing as computer experts to that list,” said Schneiderman.
The FTC has urged consumers not to allow control of their PCs to any caller, never to give out credit card or other personal information, or to simply hang up on such calls.
There are several ways to find support from Avast.
Find the answer yourself
Many of the most common questions are answered in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of our website. Categories include our consumer and business products, as well as Avast Mobile Security, and additional products such as Cleanup and Avast SecureLine VPN.
Call toll-free support
We offer Total Care Support for your smartphone, laptop, printer, or game console. This is a paid service, with a free consultation before anything is done.
Submit a support-request ticket
When you have purchase-related questions or technical questions about our Premium products, ask our online customer service representatives. Visit our support page.
Ask a question on the Avast User Forum
Thousands of Avast Antivirus users as well as Avast team members gather on the popular Avast forum to help users-in-need with their questions. It helps to read the rules and practice polite netiquette at all times.
Contact support on social media
You can always ask questions, or make comments and suggestions, by sending a private message on Facebook or visiting our Twitter Avast Support page. Customer support responds quickly in several languages, but if the question is too complicated or involves confidential payment information, then you will be given instructions on how to connect with an online support specialist.