Cheap software sites
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Thread: Cheap software sites

  1. #1
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    Cheap software sites

    Every now and again we'll get a member posting about a site that sells cheap software. And a good job they do ask too, as many of us are able to spot the dodgy sites with ease.

    These sites will often have a similar format, usually selling software for between $50 and $100, regardless of the normal retail price, usually saying that you're saving many hundreds or thousands of dollars, and making claims that you save so much because it is OEM software. In fact many of the titles advertised are not even available as OEM versions. These sites could be doing two things, they could be selling pirated copies of software, or they could be operating a scam where they'll just rip off your credit card. Remember, many of these sites are located in countries that are effectively beyond the reach of the law - if you give your credit card details and they go on a spending spree, what are you going to do about it? And even if you do get a pirate version of the software, it will be unsupported, and probably be impossible to get any updates for. The same few pirated product ID' s are used for every copy, it doesn't take long for the software companies concerned to get wise. And there's also the possibility that the CD has a few unwelcome guests lurking on it - there is big money in Trojans and Spambots these days.

    It's worth remembering the old adage "if it seems too good to be true, then it is".

    Here are a couple of screenshots of typical pirate software / scam sites, so you'll all know what to look for:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Nick.

  2. #2
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    2nd site:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Nick.

  3. #3
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    Here is an email that I recieved from Microsoft after reporting a pirate site. It contains some useful tips, so I'll post it here in its entirety:

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Team.

    We greatly appreciate your efforts in contacting the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Team and alerting us to the possible unauthorized copying and distribution of Microsoft software. Please be assured we will investigate further the authenticity of this product and take the appropriate action.

    Several suspicious software operations around the globe are marketing their suspicious goods through spam email advertisements. Spam email is unsolicited commercial email otherwise known as junk mail. In an attempt to mask their location, these counterfeit organizations change their name and email sources daily. The basic contents of the email remain the same: "Microsoft Software Offered at Cheap Prices."

    The advertisers use terms like "Original Equipment Manufacturer" ("OEM") software, as an attempt to explain why the offered software is so inexpensive. Spammers also include random dictionary words and paragraphs of text throughout their email to avoid anti-spam filtering technology.

    Microsoft is working to educate partners and consumers about the risks of getting software from suspicious sources. We are investigating the sources of these operations and are doing everything in our power to stop this kind of activity.

    Purchasing from known and trusted sources and avoiding "too-good-to-be-true deals" are the best ways to avoid suspicious software offers.

    Here are some suspect signs to look for:

    Beware of spam emails offering software prices that are too good to be true.
    Beware of offers requesting the wiring of money to foreign banking institutions.
    Beware of software shipping into the United States from overseas.

    For more information regarding spam offering suspicious software, please visit:

    http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/genu...nuine/spam.asp

    You may also visit our Internet site on http://www.microsoft.com/piracy and http://www.howtotell.com to review additional information on recognizing genuine Microsoft product and Microsoft's licensing policies.

    Again, thank you for your interest in our anti-piracy campaign.

    Microsoft Corporation
    Worldwide Sales Group
    Nick.

  4. #4
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    A number of our members have been caught out by buying pirated software on Ebay, which inevitably offers a large amount for sale. Here is a guide to help sort out the dodgy from the genuine:

    Buying Software and Graphics...

    Pirated software applications and graphics are everywhere on Ebay.

    Spotting them is not too hard. Asking questions and reading the auction copy is your best weapon against being "taken" or against possible criminal charges. Yes, criminal charges.

    Buying stolen, copied, cracked or hacked software that the seller offers easily falls within the receipt of stolen property which is a crime in almost every state. If you receive stolen software that is shipped to you or that you download and it is across state lines then you are now talking about a federal crime involving interstate commerce.

    How do you identify Software and Graphics items that are traps? What is the normal price of the software that is being offered? If software is being sold in retail stores for $699 but the product is being offered on Ebay with no reserve... that's a warning sign. If the Buy It Now price is $85 and it's the current edition of the software.... that's a warning sign.

    And here is another good article:

    Buying or selling software on Ebay

    You're new to Ebay...you log on, do a search, and discover that, wonder of wonders, that Microsoft OFFICE software that you were just about to pay $300 for at COMPUSHACK is available right here at Ebay for $30! Lo and behold, not just one lucky find, but multiple vendors, day after day, selling it.

    Your first thought: "Yee Ha, I've just saved myself a bundle of money! Now I can buy myself that DVD player I've always wanted". A few minutes later, your second thought: "Maybe I should buy 10 of them, and set up a table right outside of COMPUSHACK selling them for $150. I'll retire at age 30..."

    Well, before you quit your day job, you may want to read on...
    Nick.

  5. #5
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    Here's a good article:

    How to get sued by Microsoft
    Nick.

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