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Possible Avast! fraud?


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#1 saluqi

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 09:59 PM

A friend in Austria, who does not AFAIK have any Avast! software installed, received a "renewal notice" with the title ": RE: Avast reminder: Your subscription will automatically renew in 30 days " and a link to "Avast! Customer Portal".  The link appears to be hxxx... et2.etr.im/a1a

 

I am strongly inclined to think that link is bogus, a case of phishing perhaps.  Am I correct?  The person in question is, to say the least, fairly oblivious in matters of security and may not even know which antivirus program she does have installed.

 

Thanks for enlightenment!

 

EDIT - looking in the Avast! forums reveals this is apparently legitimate (?????).  The link is to Nexway who distributes Avast! software.  Curiouser and curiouser.  Maybe that's why I have (unintended) 3 Avast accounts for 2 computers, one of which is not online.


Edited by saluqi, 17 January 2015 - 10:18 PM.


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 10:20 PM

Have your friend check Programs and Features for installed software or browse through the Start > All Programs menu for avast. It's possible he had avast installed and then uninstalled it.

According to the avast Forums, avast@digitalriver.com handles payments and emails avast renewals. avast paid for products have an auto renewal subscription by default 30 day reminder and a lot of folks are unaware. BTW...many other vendors do the same thing.

We would need more information to determine if the email received was a phishing scam. However, the avast blog does not have anything posted in regards to such a scam.
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#3 NickAu

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 11:36 PM

 

 Avast reminder: Your subscription will automatically renew in 30 days

  He is lucky he got a reminder email so he can act on it now and stop the payment, I have been in this situation and because of digital rivers involvement I will never trust or recommend Avast Premium.

 

Here was my problem

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/537767/avast-your-subscription-has-successfully-renewed-ripoff/



#4 quietman7

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:19 AM

Digital River's tactics is not good PR for avast or any other vendor which uses them.
https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=159902.0
https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=93683.0
https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=86642.0
https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=131419.0
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#5 saluqi

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 12:40 PM

Is this simply howling incompetence, or is there actual intent to defraud?



#6 quietman7

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 06:20 PM

Neither....it appears they are using some sort of legal loophole which allows them to do what they are doing.
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#7 NickAu

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:14 PM

 

By completing your purchase, you have authorized Digital River to automatically renew your purchased license for successive renewal terms equal in length to your initial license term but no longer than 1 year, at the then-current renewal license price (plus applicable taxes) using your payment information provided for your initial purchase, until you cancel.

There is your legal loophole, Now i you look at the post that I link to where i had my troubles, You will see there is no way to cancel without jumping thru all sorts of hoops.



#8 quietman7

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:41 PM

 

What's the difference between lawyers and vampire bats?
-- One's a bloodsucking parasite and the other is a mouse-like creature with wings!


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#9 saluqi

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 05:40 PM

My Austrian friend has in the meantime checked Programs and Features.  She is using Microsoft Security Essentials and has never had any Avast! software installed.  She has a fairly new computer and there is no question of anything left over from an earlier state of her system.

 

It seems also that if you try to contact Avast! in this connection you get referred to Nexway.

 

I am hoping there is a way to contact Avast (perhaps through their forums and opening a ticket) to tell them they are shooting themselves in the foot by letting Nexway manage their marketing.  Perhaps it is convenient for them (a small company in the Czech Republic, I think) to let Nexway manage their marketing, but I would think the resulting dubious business practices would soon begin to tarnish Avast's reputation.  Too bad, it seems to be excellent software.

 

It seems that Nexway has a license to distribute Avast! software and think that authorizes them to do whatever they want, including sending bogus renewal invoices to people who have never used Avast! software.  My friend did complain to Avast and got a rather snotty reply from Nexway (not from Avast) saying in effect "we are an authorized distributor and can do anything we damn well please".

 

Question arising, who is Nexway and do they have any connection with Digital River?



#10 quietman7

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 06:05 PM

About Nexway

Contact us today and let us show you how we’ll grow your digital sales.

Join the more than 800 digital leaders who rely on Nexway – including retailers Amazon™, Yahoo! Japan™, Softwareload™, Orange™, Fnac.com™, Best Buy™, Cdiscount™, Pão de Açúcar™, Türk Telekom™ and Kurio™ and publishers Kaspersky Lab™, Adobe™, IMSI®/Design, ESET™, SEGA™, Electronic Arts™, Ubisoft™, F-Secure™ and AVAST Software™.

 

Avast Selects Nexway's In-Product Store Solution To Boost International Online Sales


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#11 quietman7

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 06:09 PM

avast! Customer & Technical Support
avast! Customer & Technical Support Options <- Submit a Ticket
avast! Support Forum
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#12 saluqi

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 07:50 PM

Seems Nexway must have a problem keeping track of things.

 

1) they have billed my Austrian friend for automatic renewal of software she has never purchased nor installed.

 

2) they have billed me in error, on at least three separate occasions, for renewal of software which had in fact not expired (in one case, with more than 200 days still to run on the current subscription).

 

If that sort of thing is commonplace (as it seems to be) it will surely hurt Avast's sales in the end.



#13 quietman7

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:10 PM

If that sort of thing is commonplace (as it seems to be) it will surely hurt Avast's sales in the end.

I believe yours is the first report on this forum.
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#14 riopelnet112

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:00 AM

We would need more information to determine if the email received was a phishing scam. However, the avast blog does not have anything posted in regards to such a scam.



#15 quietman7

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:04 AM

We would need more information to determine if the email received was a phishing scam. However, the avast blog does not have anything posted in regards to such a scam.


I said that in Post #2.

We would need more information to determine if the email received was a phishing scam. However, the avast blog does not have anything posted in regards to such a scam.


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