Another scam software

A number of years ago, CNN was advertising on TV for SpeedUpMyPC. I had decided to test the software because I found doubts about what they claimed.

So I installed Windows XP [hey, it was the fastest to install then] in a virtual machine and installed the application. It quickly claimed a huge bunch of “issues” with Windows XP. I then ran a tool that I trust to do a bit of cleaning. I then ran SpeedUpMyPC again and got similar results even though the tool I used to clean up found no issues.

Did SpeedUpMyPC actually check? I’m doubting it. [Of note that the software developer’s site proudly displays the CNet’s reviewer’s review but not the reviews by the users which gives the software maybe 3 out of 5 stars. It also gives positive reviews from 2 sites I wouldn’t even go near. And the CNet review was for the 2013 version while the link is for the 2014 but they are at the 2016 version. Go figure.]

Fast forward and it looks like there is another one of these suspicious cleaning tools out there. This one called SpeedFixTool.

This one has similar issues as SpeedUpMyPC. To start off with, they are using the “Norton Secured” and “McAfee Secure” images illegally since both need to link to the respective site to get the credentials.

The site fails to mention that you need to buy it except for the “Pricing” link right at the bottom.

On their “reviews” page, every one gave a 5 on 5 except two, who gave a 4 on 5. But of course those two still gave glowing reviews.

Already someone did something similar to what I did above and found the same problem: Issues that don’t really exist are showing up.

In addition the Internet [if you search] have a bunch of site which find the software a bit suspicious.

In addition, look at the verified publisher below when trying to install the application.

speedfixtool

Are we going to see advertisements all over the place?

One person claimed a potential “unwanted” application was found by ESET anti-virus.
Others also found the software or site suspicious.

Here are two sites which give evidence of what I said above.
http://www.scamaudit.com/domain/speedfixtool.com
http://www.scamadviser.com/is-speedfixtool.com-a-fake-site.html

Note: As usual, use external links at your own risk.

Welcome to the scamming season

Yes. It is that time of the year. Time to be extra vigilant with your personal information. There are a bunch of ways where your information can get into the wrong hands.

  • Phishing scams through email top the list with emails disguised as invoices or shipping notifications that are related to the season [i.e. you “bought” some items online]. Consumers are more likely to click on fraudulent links or open attachments during periods of high shopping activity.
  • So-called charities that are using the season to their advantage as people tend to give more at the time of the year. In particular, watch for slightly different spelling or maybe reworded different. An example would be “United Ways” instead of “United Way”. Any site can include a phony charity registration number.
  • Look out for Emails with unbelievable prices on items. For example Canada Goose Jackets for under $100 or even a license to Microsoft Office Professional for $75. [For a long time fake Canada Goose web sites were popping up in ads and then stopped last spring. They returned recently. Wonder why.] Both are way higher than that.
  • Watch for suspicious contests in social media sites especially when they ask for information they don’t need.
  • Using an ATM machine? Aside from hiding your PIN, make sure the machine looks real and has no attachments [or something that is out of place].
  • Received a call from someone claiming to be from your bank [or credit card] and there is a “problem” with your account? Ask for details only they would know if they are legitimate. For example, ask them for your birthday, your credit card number, etc. [Or just hang up and call you bank.]
  • Mobile applications are popular, but if the application requires too much access [don’t they all already?], be suspicious.
  • Fake travel deals are common enough. If you find the deal too good to be true, maybe it isn’t true.
  • Watch out for emails that include a link or attachments to “digital e-cards”. Consider it very suspicious if they don’t tell you who it is from before clicking on a link or opening an attachment.
  • Travel a lot? Considering encrypting your devices [which also means adding a password]. If you have a laptop, considering to make it only bootable from the hard disk and setting an administrator password in addition to encrypting the hard disk. [That way you can only boot off the hard disk (they can’t use the laptop with their own hard disk) and the data on the disk is encrypted.]
  • If you work at a large company, watch out for USB flash drives lying around before you enter the premises. Hackers do this so that if you insert the drive, malware could be installed which will have access to company data. Other times, it is just malware.

Of course if you follow the standard practices [don’t open Emails not addressed to you personally, place your mouse pointer over a link, bad styling or spelling in the email, etc.], then you should have little to worry about.

Another Facebook scam

If you receive an Email that says it is coming from Facebook and your messages [shouldn’t that be posts?] will be removed, don’t believe it.

It is a scam. They’re hunting for your login information. [And some bad grammar. Should be “… and a lot HAS happened…]

Here is a sample:

fb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subway gift card scam

Be on the look-out for a chance to win a Subway gift card [or similar offers from others].

These are probably considered scams.

[I am waiting for verification but what they offer sounds unlikely. On top of that there has been a number of complaints regarding the hosting site prizehouse.ca.]

Unsure what law they are talking about in the text at the bottom. The body’s text itself sounds a bit odd – as if written by someone who isn’t fluent in English.

Emails come from the domain migliorofferta.com – registered by someone in Romania!

Neither domains seem to be registered to actual companies.

Aside from getting your information including birthday, they don’t seem to be looking for much – unless for a future identity theft possibility.

The sloppy Email will look something like below:

Hello,

I was eating at Subway, when they made an announcement.

They give Gift Cards, you only need to complete an survey. You can take it, just a couple of seconds.

See how to get yours NOW!

<link removed>

*According to the law 365/2002 concerning electronic commerce, this message is not and cannot be considered spam because of the following: receiving this offer does not involve you financially, your e-mail address was found either on a public site, business lists or lists of e-mail addresses from other companies that sent us their offers or through business meetings.

Note: While this has all the signs of a scam, I have still sent in a question to Subways to verify. In the meantime prizehouse.ca has other possible scam offers including winning an iPhone, or 4 tickets to any NHL hockey game [not mentioned if NHL approved].

Watch out for phishing scams by phone

This is a true story. A friend of mine was almost scammed.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be support staff from a company [generally Microsoft, your internet provider, etc.] and claiming that your system is infected – be extra cautious.

Note: If your system was infected for real, you probably would see your system a bit slow and/or pop-ups would be showing up.

The ‘support” person may ask you for your phone number, physical address and Email address.

Ask them to give you information only they could have such as your account number for your ISP [if your ISP is calling], your version of Windows [if Microsoft], your actual name [note: if they just give you your initial, then it’s not enough], etc.

Note: They should have most or all of this if they were a real support company.

The “support” person may also sounds like they are from another country with an accent [some say from  India or Pakistan] and/or the volume of the phone call is low and/or line noise.

They will ask you to connect to a web site [or maybe send you the link by Email] and download and install some software. They then will ask you to connect to your computer to “fix” the problem. The software may be a something called LogMeIn, Ammyy Admin or TeamViewer. All allow someone to access your computer remotely [but they need permission first]. The software is legitimate.

From then on it is downhill. They will poke around, transfer data [Email addresses, Email, etc.] off your computer, search for financial information, etc.

At one point they will say it will cost [something like] $199.99 to fix the problem. They you know you are being scammed for sure.

Here are a few things to look for:

  • If it is from your internet provider, ask them what is your account information [or anything they should know]. Some may also have your birthday on file.
  • Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others will never call you about an infection. Not their problem.
  • Neither will Symantec [Norton], McAfee, Kaspersky or others.
  • As mentioned above, if your system had multiple infections, wouldn’t you have noticed anything out of the ordinary?

If you don’t believe me…..
http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&amp;q=logmein+scam

For the technical, close down the application. Go to <user profile>\appdata\local\temp and delete everything [note that not everything is removable and may be in use]. Obviously adjust the location for Windows XP users. This will at least kill the application from running.

If you feel that you are being hit by the scammers, hang up and shut down or disconnect your ISP’s modem.