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 BackUp, EasyPass, and the new PC optimizer, GrimeFighter.
Call toll-free support
We offer free support in English for the consumer versions of avast! Antivirus on the following issues:
- Installation of avast! products
- Errors/problems during avast! installation
- Basic configuration
- Inserting the license
- Avast! update issues
- Error messages for avast! products
If the issue is more complicated, you could be offered a paid service.
Call toll-free from the US, +1 866 951 7679
Submit a support-request ticket
This option is the best for languages other than English, when you want your issue to be tracked, or for purchase-related questions. You have to choose from several departments: Technical support, Customer service, Viruses and malware, or if you want to ask a question or send a comment to AVAST. Visit our support page.
Ask a question on the User Forum
Thousands of avast! Antivirus users as well as avast! team members gather on the popular forum to help users-in-need with their questions. It helps to read the rules and practice polite netiquette at all times.
Ask a question on social media
You can always ask simple questions, or make comments and suggestions on our Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ pages. The social media team responds quickly in several languages (English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, and German), but if the question is too complicated or involves confidential payment information, then you will be referred to our support specialists or toll-free help line.
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