Fake Product Support

Aghast at Avast’s iYogi Support

The makers of Avast antivirus software are warning users about a new scam involving phone calls from people posing as customer service reps for the company and requesting remote access to user systems. Avast is still investigating the incidents, but a number of users are reporting that the incidents followed experiences with iYogi, the company in India that is handling Avast’s customer support.

A follow-up investigation by KrebsOnSecurity indicates that Avast (among other security companies) is outsourcing its customer support to a third-party firm that appears engineered to do little else but sell expensive and unnecessary support contracts.

Complete article: http://krebsonsecurity.com/2012/03/aghast-at-avasts-iyogi-support/

Avast! Blog
iYogi support service removed

We had initial reports of this behavior a few weeks ago and met with iYogi’s senior executives to ensure the behavior was being corrected. Thus, we were shocked to find out about Mr. Krebs’ experience. As a consequence, we have removed the iYogi support service from our website and shortly it will be removed from our products. We believe that this type of service, when performed in a correct manner, provides immense value to users. As such, over the next weeks, we will work with iYogi to determine whether the service can be re-launched.

Re-launched? :-o

ESET Threat Blog
Fake Support, And Now Fake Product Support

I first became aware of the plague of Indian companies operating PC and anti-virus support scams because one of our competitors advised me that one of them was apparently carrying out unethical marketing on ESET’s behalf. (They weren’t, of course, anything to do with ESET: see this blog series and this paper.)

I recently learned from my colleagues at ESET UK that cold-callers from Mumbai have developed a new twist on this cold-calling scam, calling people in the UK and apparently claiming to offer paid support in response to problems that don’t exist,

Complete article: http://blog.eset.com/2012/03/15/fake-support-and-now-fake-product-support

Of interest
Microsoft MVP Troy Hunt’s Blog:
Anatomy of a virus call centre scam
Scamming the scammers – catching the virus call centre scammers red-handed


4 thoughts on “Fake Product Support

  1. I attend a large southeastern University in the United States. The University provides students and faculty with free anti-virus software protection by McAfee to protect home PCs. I downloaded the software, but had difficulty connecting to McAfee to register my computer. I called the McAfee customer service number (or so I thought) and ended up with IYOGI. I figured they were connected with McAfee (since they answered the phone number) and they offered to help fix my McAfee connection. They also offered to scan my computer for viruses. They took control remotely and showed me that I had a lot of problems with my registry. I have had problems in the past (which is why I was downloading McAfee). The offered to optimize my computer and fix all the problems for $169.99, and included a year of tech support. I figured, I need to get my computer cleaned sooner than later and the price for a year seemed reasonalbe so I consented. After they finished, my computer did seem better and I had this cool little IYOGI bar at the top of my screen for instant tech support. Well less than 48 hours later (this morning), I was online logging into my bank account. When I tried to log into my account, a new page I have never seen came up asking for all of my banking info; passcodes, addresses, maiden names, banking numbers and the back of the card number. IYOGI had told me that once they had optimized and cleaned my computer I would need to re-set all passwords, but I have never seen a banking screen like this before. I was a litttle freaked out by having so much personal information requested, so I used my laptop to complete my banking transaction instead (and I am glad I did!) One hour later, I was on FaceBook, my screen bleeped and my computer re-started. When it came back up my computer was exploding with little boxes telling me that I had a critical error. Then the screen took over my C drive and hard drive. Everything was cleared out and my screen went black. I was freaking out! I am a student and my documents are very dear to me. However, I was still able to contact IYOGI remotely through the IYOGI bar at the top of my screen. A representative started to help me right away, but I was beginning to get a bad feeling. I got on my laptop while he was remotely working on my desktop and started googling IYOGI reviews. A lot came up, hard drive crashes, problems with refunds, bad service etc.. I told the guy working to STOP immediately and explained that I wanted my money refunded. He refused and kept working, saying to give him a chance he could fix the problem! He told me that my hard drive was gone and that my system was crashed. I questioned him how this could be when less than 48 hours ago, IYOGI had supposedly optimized and cleaned all bugs and virus off my PC. Finally he asked me to reboot my computer in “safe mode” which disconnected him. I immediately called IYOGI and asked for a refund. They tried to offer me an extended service package at first and kept trying to persuade me differently. I continue to tell them I just wanted my money back now that my system was crashed. Finally I was told I would be refunded $110, but charged a $59 service fee. I wanted to tell the representative to F*&! OFF! But, I kept my head and rationally explained that not only had they not resolved my initial problem (registering with McAfee) I know had a crashed computer with no files. The rep eventually consented and sent me an email saying I would receive my money in 7 days, but remembering the messages I have already read about IYOGI scams online (non-refunded fees) and my earlier banking concern – I called my bank. They told me that the screen I had seen this morning was fradulant and told me that I should immediately cancel my bank account. Since it was less than 48 hours since I purchased the IYOGI package they were able to boot IYOGI off my bank account and my bank refunded my money. Iwas told however, to continue watching my account until I can completely cancel it on Monday (today is Saturday). I am so mad at this company….boy did they take me for a painful ride. I took my computer to Best Buy’s Geek Squad (just now) and they said it could be fixed for $199. Luckily, the virus did not actually erase everything on my hard drive, it just looked like it did. Almost $400 and a lot of wasted time and effort later, I am saying to everyone else…..Please do not use IYOGI and stay away from THEIR VERSION of GOOD KARMA!!!!

    They are just awful.

    Signed, Pissed University Student

  2. Dear Certifiedbug,

    We regret that your experience with iYogi was not satisfactory. We take feedback very seriously as it helps in our endeavor to continuously improve our services. We would like to investigate the incident you are reporting and so we request you to kindly send an email to ( Removed, along with website URL. -CB ) with your account details. We assure you that we will take action as per company policies based on the findings of our investigation.

    Active Response Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>