Internet scammers can be found in the most unlikely of places
October 1, 2008
For years I've been receiving e-mails promising me a tonne-o-money if I helped someone a world away process his or her multi-million dollar inheritance. The various Internet rip-off scams are everywhe...
For years I’ve been receiving e-mails promising me a tonne-o-money if I helped someone a world away process his or her multi-million dollar inheritance. The various Internet rip-off scams are everywhere and some are presented in some very clever ways.
Although I can say I’ve never been “taken” by the scum-suckers that generate this junk, I’ve learned that rip-offs can take many different forms.
A few months ago, I received a message from my Internet security software company informing me that my recent version of their software wasn’t so recent.
Not wanting to let it lapse and expose myself to the various Gremlins that live in hyperspace, I clicked on the link and was taken to their site.
Once there, I clicked on a new and improved version, gave my credit card number and downloaded the program.
‘Wonderful,’ I thought. ‘I’m protected for another year.’
A few days later I received my American Express bill and noticed that they had double-dipped.
They charged me $70-odd dollars for an “auto renewal” on the old program and $50-odd dollars for the new version I had recently downloaded.
Of course I immediately e-mailed their customer service department and explained the problem.
One day later I received an e-mail informing me that the problem would be looked into.
The response to my second, third and fourth e-mail was that my complaint had been “escalated” and would be dealt with as soon as possible.
E-mail five, six, seven and eight told me the same thing.
Nine, 10 and 11 promised a decision would be forthcoming.
I lost it on 12.
I explained that every e-mail had been saved and was on its way to the consumer watch editors of the various Toronto newspapers and TV news departments.
I was tired of the run-around and wasn’t going to surrender to their brush-off tactics.
Go figure, number 13 informed me that my refund would be processed within the next 10 business days.
Ironically, they probably got the last laugh.
Their “state-of-the-art” security program wasn’t so “state-of-the-art.”
It let a virus get through labeled “Antivirus XP.” It ran a fake diagnostic of my computer and claimed it was full of viruses.
A pop-up window appeared urging me to click on a link, give them my credit card and download yet another new “state-of-the- art” security program.
– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-510-5123 or by e-mail at rwilkins@