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Beware of scammers
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Patchou
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O.P. Beware of scammers
Hi,

while the next version of Messenger Plus! is being tested, I thought I should write about two things that have been affecting the software recently. One is good, one is bad. Let's start with the later, I'll talk about happy things next time.

A new kind of scam has grown popular since last year. Some people have been registering domain names that look similar to mine in order to get money from my users. Some of these sites try to look like legitimate download sites, offering lots of other programs, while others bluntly rip off parts of the official site to look official. In every situation, the setup file downloaded from these sites asks to input a code which is generally obtained by paying a couple of dollars or euros by the mean of text messages (SMS) sent from your mobile phone. Some of these sites even replace their download link with a legitimate one from time to time to stay unnoticed for a longer period of time.

While we are still trying to shut down many of these sites, the problem is now important enough to give a clear official warning: Messenger Plus! is a very popular product and for that reason, is an easy target for scammers. Legitimate download sites will never, ever, ask you for any kind of monetary compensation to download or install Messenger Plus!, its scripts or its skins. If you have any doubt, go directly to msgpluslive.net to get your files and when recommending the program to your friends, give them a proper url. Don't let them search for the software in a search engine as I've seen some of the bad sites advertising on Google, making the scam a very easy one to push onto some people.

Messenger Plus! is a software that's free to download, free to install, and free to enjoy. If you fear a setup file you downloaded may have been tampered with, check its digital signature (right-click and select Properties). All the binary files I distribute are signed by "Patchou" with a VeriSign Class 3 certificate. If Windows displays anything else than "Patchou" and "Messenger Plus! Live" when you try to launch the setup, the file was not approved by me for public distribution and for that reason, it should not be trusted.

In order to conclude this news post, I can't help myself but to point out something obvious and pathetic. In my opinion, problems like this one should be easily avoidable in our time. Sites registered by scammers should be recorded in some kind of big online database and people who try to access them should receive an appropriate warning. This is the job you would expect big security companies such as McAfee to perform well and as it turns out, McAfee offers this kind of service already! it's called SiteAdvisor and you can even install an add-on to automatically protect you while you surf. The problem? According to their database, msgpluslive.net is rated red with a big "don't go there" cross and is said to link to "unwanted programs", including 11 "trojans". If you check messengerplus.ms, one of the scammers' web sites, you'll see a green checkmark and a note: "We tested this site and didn't find any significant problems". Life goes on...

Patchou

This post was edited on 03-01-2008 at 05:09 PM by Patchou.
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02-24-2008 09:29 PM
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warmth
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RE: Beware of scammers
that one of the reasons why I hate McAfee... I used to work with them to tests theirs new releases... and they always think you are wrong but they don't...
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02-24-2008 09:35 PM
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blackjack
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RE: Beware of scammers
Well, hope this gets ''fixed'' soon, so noone tries to make profit from your work :sad:

Anyway, Keep up the good work Patchou! :D
02-24-2008 09:40 PM
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Dane
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RE: Beware of scammers
Hrm...Petition Time for McAfee :O.  The scam sites are really popping up fast too for Messenger Plus! Live, its unfortunate.  Good info though, Patchou!
02-24-2008 09:41 PM
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Quantum
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RE: Beware of scammers
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Originally posted by Dane
Hrm...Petition Time for McAfee :O.  The scam sites are really popping up fast too for Messenger Plus! Live, its unfortunate.  Good info though, Patchou!

Yeah! http://www.petitiononline.com/
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02-24-2008 09:43 PM
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MeEtc
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RE: Beware of scammers
No, john-t. I suggest you read up on old news
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02-24-2008 09:45 PM
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Chris4
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RE: Beware of scammers
I left a bad review on SiteAdvisor about the scam site. Hopefully they get closed down soon and no one will fall for the scam.

Reported on http://www.mess.be (Y)

This post was edited on 02-27-2008 at 05:33 PM by Chris4.
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02-24-2008 09:47 PM
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effection
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RE: Beware of scammers
people will do anything to make money these days
02-24-2008 09:53 PM
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Choli
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RE: Beware of scammers
quote:
Originally posted by Patchou
Sites registered by scammers should be recorded in some kind of big online database and people who try to access them should receive an appropriate warning.
What about Internet Explorer 7 "anti-phising" technology or whatever that's called? How does that work? Couldn't those stupid sited be submitted to the bad-sites data base of Microsoft or something?
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02-24-2008 10:28 PM
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Nagamasa
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RE: Beware of scammers
quote:
Originally posted by Patchou
The problem? According to their database, msgpluslive.net is rated red with a big "don't go there" cross and is said to link to "unwanted programs", including 11 "trojans". You can even read the un-moderated comments that follow, most of them being very useful and professional. If you check messengerplus.ms, one of the scammers' web sites, you'll see a green checkmark and a note: "We tested this site and didn't find any significant problems". Life goes on...
Which is pretty retarded...

lol Can't wait for the next release! (and again, when can there be more people into the testing team?)
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02-24-2008 11:03 PM
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