There is a new trend emerging in the field of credit card scamming and it preys upon our efforts to protect our computers.
MacGuard, an entirely bogus piece of software, claims to clean up your system and remove adware, spyware, and trojans. It doesn’t. Not only does the software make no effort to protect your computer, but the companies that sell it are merely scamming your credit card details. MacGuard claims the following:
“Macguard’s high-tech system scanner will search your hard drive for malicious objects such as Adware, Spyware and Trojans, cleaning your files, eliminating the threats, and securing your privacy in just a matter of minutes. Its real rime smart protection will also ensure new threats will not even reach your desktop.”
It is interesting to note that Winiguard claims exactly the same thing … word for word. These are both totally bogus products. Do not visit their sites. Do not click the download links. Do not enter any credit or debit card information.
On the MacGuard site, nothing actually downloads when you click the product’s download link which is a big clue that something is wrong. Fortunately, like most virus vandals out there, they have not figured out how to break in to the unix-based kernel of Mac OSX. On the Winiguard site, a nasty virus does, indeed, download. WiniGuard hijacks your desktop and typically displays exaggerated or false spyware claims to frighten the user into paying for the program. This is digital terrorism, nothing else.
Aside from this, the real scam here is undoubtedly your credit card information. By purchasing this software you are happily giving your credit card numbers and billing information to a bunch of crooks. It is very likely that you will subsequently find additional charges on your credit card. Sadly, ArsTechnica report that more than 30 million people have already been scammed in this way.
Our advice is to avoid purchasing software from a company you have never heard of, or who has no references, or whose web site is vague and imprecise.
We all know that security and viruses are a serious risk when using a computer and especially the internet, but one should not blindly trust a web site just because it is out there. Putting up a website is pretty straight-forward if you know what you are doing. Before buying any software online, check it out with someone trustworthy: Mister Geek, a tech blog or magazine for example. You’ll find out more than you think with a good internet search. As the Roman’s apparently said: caveat emptor, meaning buyer beware. This goes for absolutely everything you purchase online, but even more so for anything claiming to protect you.
If you have found trouble in your computing environment and need advice or action, whether it be XP, Vista, OSX or Linux, please contact Mister Geek and we will be glad to help.