Copied/pasted from Avast's FB page:
BEWARE, A NEW SCAM. During the past week or so, we have received some complaints and it appears that some of our customers are being targeted by a new scam. Luckily only a handful of customers have contacted us regarding this so far, but they report receiving phone calls from “Avast customer service” reps who need to take control of their computer to resolve some issue and who, for a fee, wish to charge them for this privilege. We DO NOT MAKE UNSOLICITED CALLS – not for sales, not for support, and certainly not to try to scam our loyal customers.
Comment: It doesn't matter WHO does the UNsolicited calling --- it could allegedly be Avast, or Dell, or Microsoft, or just about any other company --- if you get a call from them, advising you of a "problem" on your system, that they can solve if you pay them [and/or for which they'll need to take remote control of your system], DON'T BELIEVE THEM --- DON'T ALLOW THEM ACCESS TO YOUR SYSTEM --- IT'S A SCAM.
On a related note, my wife took a call allegedly from Microsoft this weekend, advising us that there was a virus on our computer. [We have 3... she didn't ask which one(s) they were referring to.] She simply told them she knows how to fix it. The guy said that'll be fine. He didn't ask for any money -- he didn't want to take over the "infected" computer. He gave her his name (whether real or fictional), and a phone number to reach him, should we want any further assistance. So it was rather weird in that regard. She tried tracing [and possibly reporting] the number... not sure how far she got.
Windows 7 Pro SP1 (64-bit), avast! v8 Free, MBAM Pro, Windows Firewall, OpenDNS Family Shield, SpywareBlaster, MVPS HOSTS file, EMET+MBAE, MCShield, WinPatrol PLUS, SAS (on-demand scanner), IE11 & Firefox (both using WOT [set to BLOCK]; KeyScrambler for IE), CryptoPrevent, Secunia PSI.
[I am experimenting with Sandboxie, and believe computer-users who sandbox are acting prudently.]
A good reminder, ky.
I recently got one of these bogus phone calls, where I was informed my PC was infected. I just laughed at the caller, and hung up.
Dell Forum Member since 2,000
(Mostly) Free Security Software- A Primer
Interesting article from Brian Krebs.
The message is clear.
One of the drawbacks to free AVs is the lack of free/reputable phone support. Both MSE and avast! have reputable forums for support - use them instead. They are all you need, in my experience.
I just want to remind people (or call to the attention of those who've "missed" the news) that the latest version of avast, v7, has been plagued with major problems since its release [as is evidenced by all the complaints being lodged at their forum]. Many of the users there are experienced people, so it's not just a matter of "newbies" making mistakes. While avast has released several beta fixes, and at least one "official" update, the volume of complaints continues. As such, I have not [nor will I] download avast 7 onto any of my "working" machines, until such time as a truly stable release becomes available.
I would recommend that anyone who wishes to try avast at this time locate a copy of version 6 [the latest being 6.0.1367 ] from http://filehippo.com/download_avast_antivirus/download/f210dfbb5c08d54334298df6cafcd6fb/
... and that current users of this version set their PROGRAM updates to MANUAL, so as to retain that version (but keep DEFINITION updates set to AUTOMATIC).
Here's a related article --- mentioning the Krebs article and avast scam --- which notes that the same scam is happening to ESET users:
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Microsoft MVP - Consumer SecuritySocial Media and Community ProfessionalSpywareHammer
I am not a Microsoft or a Dell employee. I am a volunteer.
WOW! I applaud Avast! for taking such swift action --- dropping iYogi within one day of Mr. Kreb's article!! Way to go, Avast!
Now, if they could only fix all the problems with v7
"..The Indian company suspended this week by antivirus company Avast for mis-selling support contracts during customer phone calls has apologised and offered to refund users unhappy with the service..."