Online PC repair scams … and the damage they do

By | February 24, 2011
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After now having helped over 100 people with our Cloudeight Direct Computer Care service, we can tell you how much damage these so-called system optimization programs, you’ve seen advertised on TV, really do. It’s a shame that these companies make millions of dollars by preying on the gullible who really believe that installing a program like FinallyFast or MyCleanPC is really going to make their Windows computer run like new.

FinallyFast is back again – along with some new brothers-in-arms. After a six-month hiatus, FinallyFast is back with newer and slicker commercials designed to persuade you to open your wallet and buy a newer version of their scamware. Don’t be fooled – it’s the same old snake oil with a different label. Success breeds success and copycats are popping up on TV – and draining wallets faster than the medicine shows of yesterday used to do.

A while back, we wrote about the scam known as “FinallyFast”. At that time, FinallyFast was advertising on early morning (2AM-5AM) cable networks – a time when advertising is cheap because not many are watching. Well they’re back and they’ve got slicker commercials – and they’re running advertisements in prime time on cable networks like CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and others. Many of you (in the U.S.A.) have probably seen their ads by now – they are being shown over and over again in time slots when most people would normally be watching.

This is case where this company (Ascentive) has made enough money by misleading people that they can now afford to advertise in prime time and make even more money. There is no difference between what Ascentive (FinallyFast) is doing and what these “sit in your house and make millions on the Internet” scams are doing. Every one of us who uses a computer wishes we could install a software program and make our computers incredibly fast. Everyone of us who is overweight wishes we could eat all we want and still lose weight. Everyone of us who is struggling to pay the bills wish we could buy a book or CD for $29.95 and learn how to make millions overnight. The little common sense voice in all of us yells – NO NO NO! But, still, some of us think it’s worth $29.95 to give it a go.

Well, Ascentive thinks enough people will pay $29.95 and take a chance that it works – and then pay them $29.95 next year and the following year and the following year -with their subscription “service”.

Folks, FinallyFast was a scam the first time around and it’s still a scam.

But wait, there’s more!

It’s bad enough that FinallyFast ripped off enough people to pay for a new, slicker, prime-time advertising campaign this year. But it’s even worse that another outfit called “Cyberdefender” has spawned two FinallyFast clones: SpeedUpMyPC and DoubleMySpeed. These two products work the same way as FinallyFast. You get a “free” online scan which will find thousands of errors and offer to fix them all for just $39.95. We wouldn’t be surprised if you could scan a brand new computer with any of these scamware programs and find thousands of errors.

If it weren’t serious, SpeedUpMyPC’s current TV commercial would be funny. It starts out: “Does it take more than three seconds to download your email?” Of course, it really depends on the speed of your connection, the size of the email, Internet traffic, and the speed and capacity of the email server…among other things. The speed at which you download email has absolutely nothing to do with the condition of your PC. Of course, the point of the question is to get those watching to say – “Wow, yes, it takes me a lot longer than 3 seconds to download my email. I must have malicious files on my computer.” And near the end of the commercial another gem which goes something like “Did you know your computer could still be infected even if you use anti-virus software?” Does this mean your antivirus is no good and MyCleanPC is better. That’s what your supposed to think.

With the economy crumbling, the last thing you need to do is throw away $29.95 or $39.95 or more. The real proof of what Finally Fast, MyCleanPC, DoubleMySpeed, and the other do or don’t do is what folks who have actually fallen for this scam have to save. Try googling “Finally Fast + Scam”, “MyClearnPC+Scam”, “DoubleMySpeed+Scam” and/or “CyberDefender+Scam” and learn the truth before you fall for any of these scams. Don’t throw your money away. These companies are spending millions on TV advertising – in prime time on cable. To us this means that hundreds of thousands of people are falling for these scams. According to the comments we’ve seen online, not only do these programs not work, they sometimes make things worse. And from what we’ve been able to find out, getting support or refunds from these companies may be very difficult.

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