Sunday, September 16, 2012
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Thursday, September 13, 2012
There are "scary" lawsuits and then there's scareware. SpeedyPC, which falsely claims to be a Microsoft Partner, has been named in a lawsuit for 'fraudulently inducing people to buy fraudulent software that supposedly speeds up and protects computers.'
By Ms. Smith on Wed, 09/12/12 - 8:26pm.
Browsing courthouse news can result in reading about "scary" allegations, lawsuits covering everything from people "wrongfully" arrested at a "haunted house" during a paranormal investigation, to a more serious class action lawsuit that, if true, clearly shows the company doesn't comprehend that gamers come in ages. Mosaic Sales Solutions, a sales company that "demonstrates Microsoft video game products," requires job applicants to "submit pictures of themselves and won't hire older candidates who do not 'reflect the Kinect and Xbox image.'" It supposedly favors "Generation Y" applicants, so anyone over age 40 stands no chance of being hired. However, it was the lawsuit about scareware that really caught my eye, because who knows how many tens of millions of people have been tricked by such cyber-scam software. Don't you just loathe lowdown scareware scammers?
You know the type of software that supposedly will help clean an infection from a PC or speed it up, that when downloaded, manages to come up with a huge list of malware infection threats or Windows registry errors that are not true. It "scares" the user into paying for the software to remove supposed threats. Scareware is especially offensive to me, promising to fix a problem that didn't usually exist in the first place. Too many people who really don't have a clue about security are duped into believing and paying for software that lied to acquire that customer. The FBI has repeatedly busted scareware distributors that have fleeced the frightened into paying out countless millions.
Under a sub-header called "Bogus," the Courthouse News Service reported:
Speedy PC Pro Software fraudulently induces people to buy fraudulent software that supposedly speeds up and protects computers, a class action claims in Federal Court.
The claims include [PDF] that after Speedy PC Pro's "free" scanner checked the plaintiff's computer, it found "thousands" of errors ranging from "viruses, malware and privacy threats" and buried the warning gauge needles into the red "critical" stages. It also warned her that "these problems were decreasing her computer's performance and compromising her security" and "urgently needed repair." She tried clicking "Fix All" but was told "SpeedyPC Pro detected some problems that need to be fixed," and was instructed to "Register SpeedyPC Pro now!" So she coughed up 40 bucks to find out it allegedly didn't work as advertised, and that the "free scan" gives everyone such "critical" and "urgent" errors. She is now suing SpeedyPC "for its practice of defrauding consumers."
The plaintiff's attorney points out other scareware scam lawsuits from SpeedyPC competitors, like "Symantec Corp and AVG Technologies" have alleged "similar claims related to the fraudulent design and marketing of so-called utility software products. Several of those cases have resulted in class-wide settlements and industry-shaping software modifications, which compel the implementation of far more transparent error detection and reporting procedure." But many such "reputable" firms have tried scareware tactics that are disgusting!
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Thursday, Aug 16, 2012
SINGAPORE - Microsoft has cautioned Singaporeans to be alert against IT product-related phone scams in Singapore.
In the first half of this year, 32 cases of IT product-related phone scams were recorded.
Five victims transferred a total sum of S$1,462 to scammers, each transferring amounts between S$100 and S$800.
In such phone scams, scammers normally pretend to be representatives of well-known IT brands, such as Microsoft, to trick victims, as products from these brands are likely to be owned by most people.
The recent phone scams typically unfold in the following manner:
1. A scammer, claiming to be a Microsoft technical support staff or a Microsoft partner, calls up a victim and informs him/her that their computers or notebooks may be experiencing problems and are in need of a security or software update
2. The scammer may have many personal details of the victim, for example, name and home address, so as to convince the victim that he/she is a genuine representative from Microsoft
3. Once the victim is convinced that the call is genuine, the scammer would ask the victim to download and install one or more software from the Internet. The victim would be asked to provide the software user account identification codes and passwords to the scammer. In some cases, the scammer would direct the victim to a website that allows remote control of the computer; and
4. Once access has been gained into the victim's computer, the scammer would remotely control or delete files to convince him/her to buy additional software by making online payments or providing their credit card details. In some cases, the scammer may gain access to confidential data within the victims' computers that can be used for illegal online transactions.
Mr John Fernandes, Director, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft Singapore, said: "As a rule, Microsoft does not make cold calls to its customers. Microsoft also does not call consumers or send unsolicited emails requesting for personal or financial information such as credit card details and passwords."
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:
- Ignore such calls
- Do not follow the instructions of the callers to install any software into your computer or enter any commands
- Do not make any payment or divulge your credit card or bank account details to the callers
Concerned public members can contact Microsoft Singapore at 800-852-3543 if they have further queries or concerns about phone scams.
Victims of phone scams should report the matter to the police immediately.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The software that powers Apple's popular iPhones may have a flaw that enables scammers to send users bogus messages asking for banking and other personal information.
The software glitch is said to allow scammers to send messages from impersonated accounts specifically to iPhone users. Because iPhones only display the "reply to" address of incoming text messages, iPhone users can potentially receive messages that look as though they're from friends or other trusted sources but are actually fraudulent, asking you to share passwords or to wire money.
The flaw was first noted by a security researcher who blogs under the name "pod2g." "The flaw (has) exist(ed) since the beginning of the implementation of SMS (text messages) in the iPhone, and is still there …" the researcher wrote.
Apple, meanwhile, urges customers to "be extremely careful" when receiving text messages, and recommends using its iMessage instant messaging service instead because it verifies the addresses of senders.
With business owners becoming increasingly dependent on their mobile devices for business communications, iPhone users should be on the lookout for any type of messages, including text, email, and messages over social media networks, that contain suspicious links or ask for personal information. Even if a link appears to be sent from someone you know, if it doesn't immediately appear legit, don't click on it. Contact the sender to find out what it is.
In addition to malicious links, some scammers will try "phishing,” which involves phony texts or emails that appear to have come from your bank asking to verify business or personal account numbers and passwords. If you receive a potentially suspicious message like this, contact your bank directly to alert them about it. While the message could be real, it might also be a sign that you've been hit by a scam.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
If you see a post on a friend's Facebook page offering you a £175 Tesco voucher, and think it's too good to be true - it is.
You are invited to share the offer on your Facebook page, and post the comment 'Thanks Tesco'.
The page that pops up when you click to claim the fake offer contains Tesco's logo, branding and company slogan.
But after posting to your own Facebook page, you are automatically redirected to another website.
If you have anti-virus software, this is where you may be warned off.
But dozens of people have fallen for the sophisticated scam.
Dr Kevin Curran, who is a computing expert at the University of Ulster, says that scams that operate through social networking sites are on the rise.
This is because email filters are so good now that scammers don't often have success in that field.
So they're trying to use social media to reach people.
Dr Curran says: "Scammers can make money from the third party onlinesurveys, where they get people to go to these pages and get money for each survey completed.
"They can also drive people to websites where they display their own ads.
"Or they can try to direct you to a website where you download software that can do worse things to your computer - and then they can get your personal details."
But the social networking sites are working hard to detect scammers.
Tesco say they're working with Facebook and other web firms to remove scams like this from the internet.
They say protecting customers is their "number one priority", and they alert people to scams that illegally use the company's name as soon as possible.
They've been issuing warnings on their website and official Facebook page.
The Trading Standards Service in Northern Ireland say they have not received any complaints or inquiries about this particular scam.
But they're advising people to be wary of any offer from a major retailer which has not been sent directly from that retailer - because genuine supermarket vouchers are normally sent by post or given out in stores.
And IT experts are reminding people to make sure their anti-virus software is kept up-to-date..
Friday, August 24, 2012
A global security company issued a scam warning against spam messages with catchy subject lines for Internet users this Valentine’s season.
Users must be extra careful in opening messages in their email accounts especially during the holidays as they can receive spam mails meant to get their attention and steal their personal data.
One such scam warning issued by an antivirus company describes email messages that invites users to buy a gift for his/her loved one for Valentine’s using an attached discount coupon from Groupon.
Even though the proliferation of coupon services is not totally an illegal method, their popularity comes with the risk of being used in phishing attacks.
Phishing can be done by sending a massive amount of email messages asking people to enter their details on a bogus website — one that looks very similar to the popular auction sites, social networking sites and online payment sites. They are designed to obtain personal details like passwords, credit card information, etc.....
Description - This is an advanced-level class that takes an in-depth examination of severe noncompliance, clinical data fabrication and falsification, scientific misconduct and fraud cases. The course focus is on developing skills for preventing fraud and misconduct and preparing clinical research professionals to better handle severe noncompliance.
Class Agenda/Modules - Instructors Make a Difference
Defining Clinical Research Fraud and Misconduct
Evaluation of Case History
R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H. TM Skills Program
Advanced Auditing and Monitoring Skills for Prevention
Typical Class Attendee -
Contract Research Organization Auditors
Clinical Research Associates and Monitors
Institutional Review Board Internal Audi...