United against scammers! Spread the word, raise awareness and help fellow peers
Brand impersonation is a common form of phishing used by hackers in their attempts to gain financial benefits and personal data using the most deceptive techniques.
As Bitdefender’s influence in the cyber-security industry grows, there are more scammers pretending to be Bitdefender tech support. The rule of thumb here is to NEVER share any personal information to unverified sources. Based on our findings, there are 3 major red flags to consider when experiencing one of the following:
1. SCAM POP-UP
You’re browsing online and suddenly an alarming error message pops up telling you that your device is seriously infected, and you need to call your antivirus company at the number shown on the screen to disinfect it. Don't call.
2. UNSOLICITED PHONE CALL
Someone cold calls you or leaves a voicemail message pretending they are with the support department of your security solution and that they have detected serious issues with your device. They will manipulate you into saying the name of your antivirus and then claim to work for Bitdefender. During such out of the blue calls, the person on the other end will usually speak fast, so that the victim does not have sufficient time to realize what’s going on and they will attempt to create the feeling of urgency or scarcity. If you try to hang up the phone, the fraudsters may try to convince you that doing this (e.g. waiting until the morning to get a second opinion or shutting down your device) could result in irreversible damage and that you have to instead allow one of their technicians to fix it. Hang up immediately.
A couple of years ago, somehow someone got my e-mail address and phone number. I got a random call from a number and the caller told me I was selected in a lottery to apply for a U.S. VISA. I told the guy I was not interested and they kept telling me it was a one time opportunity for me to live and work in America and that they could facilitate and support the application process and ensure great chances of admission, in exchange of a “small” fee. The extent to which they went was to offer me an even greater deal if I was using a specific card provider. And of course, this was a “limited time offer”, which meant I had to decide on the spot. Obviously, my reply was: “Is that the best you can do? You don’t sound very convincing to me”. And they hung up. Interestingly, they called again using a redirect to an U.S. number, to boost their credibility. Nice try.
3. FAKE SUPPORT WEBPAGES
You’re searching online for Bitdefender help desk and land on a site that seems legitimate. It has a big Bitdefender logo and the phone number covers half of the front page. If you dial the number (usually Toll-Free), the person who answers will quickly try to gain remote access to your computer. This one might require close attention to details, because usually such fake websites display grammar errors, or the content is poorly drafted. Impersonators will try to reproduce the image of a reputable brand as best they can, but frankly, if they are doing this, surely they were not model students and they’ve skipped some grammar classes at school.
At the request of one of our members, I have created this thread with the sole purpose of reporting scammers and scam websites that you come across, spotted either with the help of your defenses, or from personal experience. If you have been scammed or if you came across fraudulent websites, kindly share your findings in the comments below, spread the word and raise awareness, so that our fellow peers in this Community and beyond can be safe.
At the end of the day, an antivirus will shut all the doors so that no malware gets through. But it’s up to us to be vigilant and use common sense, when hackers go round those doors and try to trick us in person.
Special thanks to @PabloAlvarez for suggesting this thread: