Offshore Outsourcing & Scammer
Blog about offshore outsourcing and scammer in the outsourcing industry
Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer
by Rudolf Faix Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:23 AM

MicrosoftIn this scam cybercriminals call you and claim to be from Microsoft Tech Support. They offer to help solve your computer problems. Once the crooks have gained your trust, they attempt to steal from you and damage your computer with malicious software including viruses and spyware.

Although law enforcement can trace phone numbers, perpetrators often use pay phones, disposable cellular phones, or stolen cellular phone numbers. It's better to avoid being conned rather than try to repair the damage afterwards.

Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.

If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls.

Report phone scams

Whenever you receive a phone call or see a pop-up window on your PC and feel uncertain whether it is from someone at Microsoft, don’t take the risk. Reach out directly to one of Microsoft technical support experts dedicated to helping you at the Microsoft Answer Desk. Or you can simply call Microsoft at 1-800-426-9400 or one of Microsoft's customer service phone numbers for people located around the world. 

Microsoft Phone numbers:

  • Australia: (Australia callers) 13 20 58 , (International callers): 612 9870 2200
  • Ireland: 1850 940 940
  • New Zealand: 64-4-470-6583
  • United Kingdom: (+44) 0344 800 2400
  • United States: 1-800-426-9400

Source: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx 
(you need to switch your country setting to US/English for following this link)

 

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Fraud and Scam

Microsoft does not send unsolicited communication about security updates
by Rudolf Faix Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:17 AM

MicrosoftWhen Microsoft release information about a security software update or a security incident, Microsoft sends email messages only to subscribers of their security communications program.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals have exploited this program by sending fake security communications that appear to be from Microsoft. Some messages lure recipients to websites to download spyware or other malicious software. Others include a file attachment that contains a virus. Delete the message. Do not open the attachment.

Legitimate security communications from Microsoft

  • Legitimate communications do not include software updates as attachments. Microsoft never attach software updates to their security communications. Rather, Microsoft refers customers to their website for complete information about the software update or security incident. 

  • Legitimate communications are also on the Microsoft websites. If Microsoft provide any information about a security update, you can also find that information on their websites. 

Source: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
(you need to switch your country setting to US/English for following this link)

 

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Fraud and Scam

systweak.com: a fraudster with Microsoft Gold Partner certification
by Rudolf Faix Wednesday, April 22, 2015 1:59 AM

Fraud AlertAt my research for the roots of the Tech Support scam offers in the call center industry I have found the company Systweak India - domain systweak.com. It is one of the sources of the "Tech support calls", which are getting traded at Facebook in the call center and outsourcing groups all over the Asia and India.

The scam is working the following way:

  • Once they have programmed system tools on shareware base. Maybe at this time they had some sense, but with the further development and improvement of Windows this tools have been coming obsolete. Other companies are even providing already such tools for free or including similar products into their own offers. So they have been coming greedy and added to their products scare warnings and are showing a phone number where their victims have to call for help.

  • This incoming calls get sold to call centers, which have more or less a script and some provided tools for giving paid help to the caller. The call center is billing for their service directly the customer. This makes the scam dangerous for the call center, because in this case the money flow shows that the call center is the scammer. They will get prosecuted even they know it or don't know it that they are helping in scamming others. 

  • If their victim calls the phone number he has to pay a high price for the help. If their victim agrees and pays the scam fee, then they are installing more fraud software on the victims computer. Even the call center agent, which should solve the problem does not know about the scareware which is included in the provided tools.

 

Even if the scam has not been planned from the beginning, the system "Pay Per Sale" leaded to the scam. The greediness of the call center owners has driven the agents to sell as much as they can. Each business need to try to earn from their investment. If they buy something on stock then they need to try to make profit out of this stock. Nobody can work for free because we all need some money to pay our daily needs. This leads to such a fraud behavior too. If this has been the real case then it has been the self shot for Systweak. Even if the paid help is planned for one or more years, the problem exists, that the customer is reaching another call center then this one he has paid for his subscription. This new call center likes to get money too and does not work for free - remember the service is a "pay per sale" offer.

They are selling the calls, because they are thinking that they cannot get prosecuted by doing this. The first, which is coming into the spotlight is the owner of the phone number and this one, which takes the money. Indeed it is difficult to follow all the trades, which are done between the brokers, but it is not impossible. The first one, which are getting prosecuted are the helpers of the fraud and scam. In this case are it the call center owners, their agents and the owner of the published phone numbers.

At easycounter.com can get seen how much traffic is generated by the site systweak,com, With this counters can get calculated how many computer user are falling into their trap. You can see a screenshot from April 21, 2015:

Systweak Traffic from esycounter 

In the following screenshot are the top countries listed where the traffic comes from:

SysTweak Worldwide Audience from Easycounter

 

It was a coincidence that I found the right domain. As the domain has been suspicious for me, because nobody can give up to 70% commission on his products if the product is competitive priced. I made my standard search procedure as following:

A short reputation research at scamadviser.com brought the result:

ALERT: Low Trust Rating. This Site May Not Be Safe to Use.

I found the following comments at scamadviser:

  • Susan Swanson Speulda
    Susan Swanson Speulda · Contractor at Apollo Education Group
    Totally got screwed. Owes me a $400 refund but said I had to pay $200 to get it
    Put a startup password on my computer but told me I had to pay to get the password. Told them I wouldn't and the said f you. Computer being worked on but may need a new motherboard. Don't do business with them!
     
     
  • Joanne Jan Naujokas
    Joanne Jan Naujokas · RITI
    I paid 198 for one year service and they have cleaned up my computer at least 6 times so far. I think they are from India but have always been great and polite and yes try to sell more but I don't accept.
     
     
  • openid (signed in using AOL)
    I'll tell you the truth. Systweak are an absolute nightmare, son't get involved, don't download shit from these parasites. They are all about scamming. Their "regcleanpro" software is just a hijacked app that they then use to extort more money from you. They are based in Jaipur and they will steal your money and ruin your pc. DON'T DO IT.

 

Norton SecuredMicrosoft Gold PartnerBy taking a look at http://systweak.com/ I have found the Microsoft PartnerGold Application Development Logo and the Norton SECURED powered by Symantec logo.

The Norton secured logo means only that they are using a security certificate from Symantec. This only confirms only that the correct server is communicating with you and certificate can get reviewed by clicking on the Norton logo. The result is shown in the following screenshot:

Norton Secured

 

More interesting is the Microsoft Partner Gold Application Development, which really leads to the site https://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-IN/Companies/4295548206 (see the site at the pdf attachment) and confirms the partnership of Systweak India.

As Systweak is offering a Premium Support at their website and the customer complains about "Owes me a $400 refund but said I had to pay $200 to get it Put a startup password on my computer but told me I had to pay to get the password." makes all the surroundings of this company a little bit suspect. So I decided to search a little bit at Google and other sites.

WOT (Web Of Trust) is rating them based on user comments are from 100 ratings 92 complaints about scam, malware and scareware.

Scambook.com reports:

Information about Systweak Inc. was first submitted to Scambook on Sep 10, 2011. Since then the page has accumulated 4 consumer complaints. On average users reported $106.80 of damages. Scambook's investigation team reached out to this company a total of 1 times, Scambook Investigators last contacted them on Apr 23, 2013.

In a comment at downloads.cnet.com we find:

"STOP!!!! DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT!!!!"

March 25, 2014  |  By dwillpirate

 |  Version: Advanced System Optimizer 3.1.648.6846

Pros

Initially it seemed to be a great system to search my entire computer, find errors and fix them, but....

Cons

I installed the program after what I now know were fake "HP Help" guys from India recommended it. First off, it would install older versions of drivers that would end up causing more problems. My computer ran fine prior to the program and continued to slow down more and more over time. Eventually it got to the point where my computer would freeze after 5 minutes of use. I bought a new hard drive and loaded ASO first, and immediately my computer began to run extremely slow, using 100% of CPU space. I called the tech support number and got another guy from India who again tried to sell me the same "maintenance plan" as before that cost $350. It is an absolute scam to try to get people to pay for more unneeded service.

Summary

DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. If you have any version of it on your computer, get it off, it will cause you nothing but problems. It is a Trojan Horse that actually introduces more problems to your computer, which Systweak will "fix" for hundreds more dollars. STAY AWAY!!!

Similar complaints are getting found at the site RipoffReport.

At Postseek,com is documented, that the software is not easy to get uninstalled and it is very hard to get rid of all the pop ups.

At the Microsoft community is the scam well documented too. There are 11 pages full of this topic

At the complaintsboard.com you'll also find their fraud described,

2-spyware.com: Lists an uninstall solution and a lot of user comments about the Systweak product RegClean Pro:

As you can see from our review, RegClean Pro is legitimate application, but we do not recommend using it. After testing it, we found that it fails to detect all registry errors and also displays exaggerated scan results that are filled with doubtful issues. If you have already purchased it, its owners offer a money guarantee. We would recommend you to use it. If you want to remove RegClean Pro from the system, you can do that by using  SpyHunter or STOPzilla, or by following these manual removal steps:

Bleeping Computer.com has a removal instruction for the people, which cannot get rid of the Systweak product regclean pro. It shows how difficult it is to uninstall the malware from India.

Spybot has published a removal instruction for this kind of malware too,

This list can get endless continued. A Google search of "systweak scam" returns around 285 000 results, a search about "systweak malware" returns around 343 000 results and a search about "systweak scareware" 74 100 resuilts.

Even a court order for a similar scam gets found at onguardonline.gov:

A U.S. District Court recently ordered the operators of several international tech support scams to pay more than $5.1 million for convincing people that their computers were riddled with viruses and then charging for bogus support services.

We’ve (onguardonline.gov) written before about tech support scammers. They call and claim to work for well-known companies like Microsoft, Norton or McAfee. They say your computer is infected with malware and then ask for remote access so they can “fix” it. Or they place ads in online search results to trick you into calling them.

 

So don't use their software. You'll get scammed. The calls for the provided numbers are getting traded in the call center industry in Asia. There will be even some others get found, which try to copy the system.

Products from systweak:

 

  • Advanced Disk Recovery
  • Advanced Driver Updater
  • Advanced Email Backup
  • Advanced Email Printer
  • Advanced Email Utilities
  • Advanced Privacy Protector
  • Advanced System Optimizer
  • Advanced System Protector
  • Anvanced Vista Optimizer
  • Boost XP
  • CacheBoost Professional
  • Cacheboost Server Edition
  • Disk Speedup
  • Memory Zipper Plus
  • Mobile Junk Cleaner
  • Mobile Registry Cleaner
  • Mobile Startup Cleaner
  • Netbook Optimizer
  • RegClean Pro
  • Right Backup
  • System Speedup
  • Systweak Photo Album
  • Systweak Photo Studio
  • TuneupMyMac
  • WinClean Pro

 

 

systweak.com whois:

Domain Name: SYSTWEAK.COM
Registry Domain ID: 77920662_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.enom.com
Registrar URL: www.enom.com
Updated Date: 2013-07-29T07:59:02.00Z
Creation Date: 2001-09-28T11:40:21.00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2022-09-28T11:40:00.00Z
Registrar: ENOM, INC.
Registrar IANA ID: 48
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4252982646
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: SHRISHAIL RANA
Registrant Organization: SYSTWEAK INC
Registrant Street: E-73,CHITRANJAN MARG,
Registrant Street: C-SCHEME
Registrant City: JAIPUR
Registrant State/Province: RAJASTHAN
Registrant Postal Code: 302001
Registrant Country: IN
Registrant Phone: +91.1412367857
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +91.911412562982
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: GO4HOSTING HOSTMASTER
Admin Organization: CYBER FUTURISTICS-GO4HOSTING
Admin Street: D-61,SHIV HEERA PATH,C-SCHEME,
Admin City: JAIPUR
Admin State/Province: IN
Admin Postal Code: 302001
Admin Country: IN
Admin Phone: +1.911412770440
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax: +91.911412363604
Admin Fax Ext:
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: SHRISHAIL RANA
Tech Organization: SYSTWEAK INC
Tech Street: E-73,CHITRANJAN MARG,C-SCHEME
Tech City: JAIPUR
Tech State/Province: RAJASTHAN
Tech Postal Code: 302001
Tech Country: IN
Tech Phone: +91.1412367857
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax: .911412562982
Tech Fax Ext:
Name Server: DNS1.STABLETRANSIT.COM
Name Server: DNS2.STABLETRANSIT.COM
DNSSEC: unSigned
 

Systweak India _ JAIPUR,...an _ Microsoft Pinpoint.pdf (308.08 kb)

Update Jan. 18, 2017:
Link to the Facebook profile Susan Swanson Speulda (https://www.facebook.com/susan.speulda) removed as it returns error 404 - not found.

 

Apple kicks anti-virus apps from the app store
by Rudolf Faix Tuesday, March 24, 2015 5:45 AM

The reason given for sacking from the App Store called the producers is that users may believe that there are viruses on iOS.

Apple has removed over the past few days, several anti-virus apps from the App Store. Among them was VirusBarrier for iOS by the manufacturer Intego. The app was located since 2011 in the App Store.

Once the app has been removed, Jeff Erwin, the CEO from Intego, has asked Apple for their reasons. According to Apple, the description of his app was misleading, since users might think there would be viruses on iOS. After he had changed the description of the app to make it clear that the app scans emails and downloads, Erwin has taken the case to the executive suite of Apple - without success.

Apple has not only thrown VirusBarrier, several apps and also the corresponding category from the App Store. Some apps are still online, such as Avira Mobile Security, Lookout Antivirus & Security and McAfee Security. These apps are free, VirusBarrier cost $ 0.99. What criteria exactly Apple classifies an antivirus app misleading, is not known.

Apple has been always arrogant. Arrogance comes sooner or later to a fall off.

Apple with Worm 

Thank god, we don't need that crap on iOS or on Macs. Plain and simple, you don't need antivirus on Apple platforms. Period. I've used Macs since 1990 and not once have I ever conceived of the notion of installing antivirus on my Macs.

You are doing yourself and all Mac users here a disservice by saying stuff like this. It is widely known in the industry, especially with companies like Sophos and Kaspersky, that there are definitely Mac viruses in the wild that can infect Mac computers that do not have antivirus installed.

Just because you have a Mac does NOT mean you are immune to viruses. It is a very dangerous misconception that you are 100% protected because you use a Mac.

Mac Virus & Malware Threats: http://www.kaspersky.com/internet-security-center/threats/mac

Mac Virus Lets Hackers Control Thousands Of Computers, Through Reddit: http://www.ibtimes.com/mac-virus-lets-hackers-control-thousands-computers-through-reddit-1699227

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/mac-virus/

Apple Vows To Fight Flashback Virus, Mac Users Receive Wake-Up Call: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/apple-flashback-virus_n_1417886.html

Apple Stops Boasting That Macs Are Virus Free: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/mac-virus-apple_n_1625110.html

Security Firm: Microsoft Ahead Of Apple: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/microsoft-security-apple_n_1456073.html

Surprising Number Of Macs Infected With Malware: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/mac-malware_n_1448561.html

Be safe out there, everyone. Don't believe the hype that you're protected just because you use Mac. With Apple's growing marketshare comes the greater possibility that Macs will be targeted. Especially when its a common belief among Mac users that they're invincible.

 

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Security

US Government builds "Memex Deep Web Search Engine" to Track Criminals
by Rudolf Faix Saturday, February 14, 2015 4:58 AM

A year ago, the U.S. government's Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a project to create a powerful new search engine that could find things on the deep web that isn't indexed by Google and other commercial search engines.

The project, dubbed Memex Deep Web Search Engine , is well underway, and for the first time on Sunday night, we got an early look at Memex search engine - the crime-fighting search engine in action. The Pentagon's research agency gave Scientific American a preview of the software and 60 Minutes exclusive looks at the technology.

The Deep Web is a heap of illegal activity, pervade with child pornography, drug deals, Cyber crime and human trafficking. But because the dark web is 'buried' so deeply that it is out of the reach of mainstream search engines and law enforcement agencies, however, that’s until now.

Memex Search Engine attempts to secure the Internet from hackers, human traffickers and other criminals. The deep web search engine was designed to overcome the above challenges by extending 'the reach of current search capabilities and quickly and thoroughly organize subsets of information based on individual interests.'

The inventor of Memex search engine, Chris White, sat down with Lesley Stahl and producer Shachar Bar-On and explained how this new Dark Net Search Engine works and how it could revolutionize law enforcement investigations.

"The internet is much, much bigger than people think," White said. "By some estimates Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo only give us access to around 5% of the content on the Web." That leaves a lot of room for bad actors to operate freely in the shadows.

The 60 Minutes segment about the Memex search engine also featured DARPA innovation head Dan Kaufman, who says, "the easiest way to think about Memex is: How can I make the unseen seen?"

"Most people on the internet are doing benign and good things," Kaufman said. "But there are parasites that live on there, and we take away their ability to use the internet against us-- and make the world a better place."

Memex is currently being beta tested by two district attorneys' offices, a law enforcement agency, and a nongovernmental organization. Now, the next level of testing will be done by a broader group of beta testers in a few weeks.

"One of the main objectives of this round is to test new image search capabilities that can analyze photos even when portions that might aid investigators-including traffickers' faces or a television screen in the background - are obfuscated," Scientific American reports. "Another goal is to try out different user interfaces and to experiment with streaming architectures that assess time-sensitive data."

This means with the help of Memex Search Engine, DARPA would catch criminals by looking at reflections in TV screens, in the same way like happens in Hollywood movies. The Memex highlighted the DARPA efforts to stop human traffickers before they hurt more people.

Source: http://thehackernews.com/2015/02/memex-deep-web-search-engine.html

 

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Blog Rudolf Faix

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AboutMe

I'm since more then 35 years in the computer business (programming and technical support) and using the Internet since it has started. Since 2002 I'm programming solutions for Asterisk and since 2004 I'm in the call center industry.

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