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May 24th, 2008

Fraudulent avast! Anti-Virus Products Advertised Via Google AdWords

Fraudulent selling of free avast! Home Edition anti-virus are made via several web sites, many advertised via the Google AdWords program. Scam websites are offering keys to free avast! Home Edition anti-virus and charging users as if it was for the paid version of Professional Edition. When email “invoices” are received by customers, there is no mention of avast! and instead there is a list of programs that the customer has never heard of, let alone agreed to buy.

Such websites are in no way associated with avast! developer (ALWIL Software), and have no way to issue licenses. Any money you spend with them will not allow them to issue a genuine paid-for license. One way to spot a fraudulent site is via a message at the bottom of the website, often in small lettering:

This website has no affiliation whatsoever with the owner of this software program, and provides ONLY a link to the software program.

Another way to spot these scam sites, is the fact that they will often make mention of offering a “lifetime” license or “Gold Package”. These packages do not really exist for the avast! anti-virus.

Here is a list of known scam sites. None of the below sites have any connection with ALWIL Software and are not authorized resellers of avast!:

www.downloadavast.com
www.avast-downloads.com
avast.free-software-center.com
www.avast-hq.com
www.downloadservicearea.com (DOWNLOADSERV.COM)
download-this.us/avast
www.DownloadAvast.com
www.Avast-Downloads.com
www.avast-2007.com
download-avast.com
www.avast-home.info
www.avasthome.info
www.download-zone-free.com
www.downloadsglobe.com/avast
www.freedownloadspace.com
www.free-download-center.com
free-program-download.com
www.freedownloadpage.com
avast-download-now.com
www.mysoftwaredownloads.com
IP-MyDowloadSite.com
www.thesoftwaremembersarea.com
www.downloadinghome.com
www.bundleway.com

“Download Assist (My Downloading)”, “Market Bill” and “mywebcs” might appear as payment descriptor on your credit card if you have purchased from one of these sites.

Some of those sites are offering free avast! Home Edition wrapped in a new installer which requires a premium rate SMS to be sent in order to gain a license key.

Avast! advises customers to contact their credit card issuer if they have purchased from one of these sites, and report the transaction as fraudulent. This will allow the credit card company to instigate a chargeback against the site, returning money to customers. Customers may also wish to contact their local law enforcement organization for statistical monitoring purposes. Customers who cannot confirm where their purchase has been made are encouraged to contact avast! sales if they have any doubts as to the validity of such purchases.

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