Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fraud with a Personal Touch

A friend of mine who works for the federal government discovered this:

From GCN (Government Computer News) 15-March-2010

Have you ever been frustrated trying to reach to a real human being to support an application on your PC? Live PC Care feels your pain and has added free online support to its antivirus tool.

The only downside is that, according to Symantec, Live PC Care is a rogue antivirus program that rips you off by reporting that you have all sorts of bad things on your computer and then offering to fix them for a fee. Although the antivirus program might be fake, the online support is real, the Symantec Security Response blog reports.

"After a number of questions, we determined that it was not an automated script but rather a live person at the other end," the blog states. "The main aim of the online support session is to reassure suspicious victims that Live PC Care is legitimate software and that without activating the software at a cost, your computer system is at risk."

The program apparently uses a live chat system called LiveZilia to enable the online interaction with support agents.

I'm not sure whether it's a good sign or a bad sign when scammers start competing on the basis of customer service. But remember: Just because there is a live human being on the other end of the connection does not mean that he or she is not trying to steal your money.

- William Jackson

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