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Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

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Bouleversee
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Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330195

Postby Bouleversee » August 1st, 2020, 3:04 pm

Yesterday, I noticed an icon on my laptopl screen which I have no recollection of installing myself though I had seen a message flash up some time ago which was too quick to read. The icon said "Avast Secure Li..."; I couldn't read more without clicking on it which I didn't want to do. This morning a similar message flashed which said "Your address is visible" but disappeared before I had chance to read the rest. I was planning to post a message about it on here but then a few minutes ago I received a message purporting to come from Plusnet, my broadband and telephone line provider, using their logo, which mentioned my name and also my user name. It had a colourful picture of the Yorkshire Dales and a banner saying "Celebrate the Yorkshire Dales " and underneath "Yorkshire Day, Yorkshire Yay. Get your special offer quick." and a box with the words "Grab it like you're Yorkshire" and underneath "Offer ends 11 August" and under that boxes saying Help and Support, Member Centre, Community and a link to click on if you didn't want to receive such messages in the future and so on.

After a very long wait, I spoke to someone at Plusnet who said they hadn't sent the message and couldn't explain how the sender knew my name and Plusnet user name, which I don't think I have used for anything else. I then did a scan on Malwarebytes which didn't detect any viruses. However, I am worried because out of curiosity I stupidly tried to click on the "Grab it like you're Yorkshire" box. Nothing happened but nevertheless ...

What do I do now and what risks have I incurred? I googled Avast and see that there is such an anti-virus service but I didn't click to find out more. Maybe the icon and flash messages are also forgeries. It doesn't help that the layout on my screen keeps changing and I am afraid to click on headings such as "Imported from Inte.."I could do without big brother inserting things which I haven't asked for.

kiloran
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330197

Postby kiloran » August 1st, 2020, 3:36 pm

Sounds like you have Avast SecureLine VPN, which is perhaps consistent with the message "Your address is visible". Don't know how you got it, but you can remove it as follows: https://support.avast.com/en-au/article ... reLine-VPN

Don't know why you got the email from Plusnet, or why the layout of your screen keeps changing

Would be better on the "Computers, TV and Phones" board. viewforum.php?f=39
I'll ask the mods to move it

--kiloran

Bouleversee
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330199

Postby Bouleversee » August 1st, 2020, 3:40 pm

Many thanks.

Mike4
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330208

Postby Mike4 » August 1st, 2020, 4:09 pm

A quick google of "Virus Celebrate the Yorkshire Dales Yorkshire Day, Yorkshire Yay. Get your special offer quick" reveals nothing more worrying than that it is in fact, "Yorkshire Day" today!

Bouleversee
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330235

Postby Bouleversee » August 1st, 2020, 5:38 pm

Mike4 wrote:A quick google of "Virus Celebrate the Yorkshire Dales Yorkshire Day, Yorkshire Yay. Get your special offer quick" reveals nothing more worrying than that it is in fact, "Yorkshire Day" today!


I don't think that gets us very far if Plusnet didn't send the message, which claimed to be sending an offer which is unusual for them and didn't clarify what the offer was.. It looks like a scam to me and I'd like to know how the sender, if not Plusnet, got my details, inc. Plusnet user name. Still worried.

Breelander
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330241

Postby Breelander » August 1st, 2020, 5:51 pm

Bouleversee wrote:...if Plusnet didn't send the message, which claimed to be sending an offer which is unusual for them and didn't clarify what the offer was.. It looks like a scam to me and I'd like to know how the sender, if not Plusnet, got my details, inc. Plusnet user name. Still worried.


It looks like it was almost certainly advertising email from Plusnet, their home page currently has the 'Yorkshire' special off plastered all over it....

Plusnet wrote: Celebrate Yorkshire Day, wherever you're from
Embrace your inner Yorkshire and get a whopping 25% off our Unlimited Broadband
https://www.plus.net/


I routinely get 'special offer' emails from BT to my BT email address.....

BT wrote:You're already getting so much from BT broadband. And now you can get the same feel-good feeling with TV, sport or mobile too. Simply choose the BT service you want to bring together and pick a bundle that suits you best.


...and don't forget, BT own Plusnet.

chas49
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330243

Postby chas49 » August 1st, 2020, 6:09 pm

Bouleversee wrote: It doesn't help that the layout on my screen keeps changing and I am afraid to click on headings such as "Imported from Inte.."I could do without big brother inserting things which I haven't asked for.


This bit sounds like you used to use Internet Explorer and now you are using a different browser and these "headings" are your bookmarks/favourites which have been "imported from Internet Explorer". Have you perhps just had the Windows 10 May update and you're now using Edge as your browser?

Mike4
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330245

Postby Mike4 » August 1st, 2020, 6:42 pm

Bouleversee wrote:
Mike4 wrote:A quick google of "Virus Celebrate the Yorkshire Dales Yorkshire Day, Yorkshire Yay. Get your special offer quick" reveals nothing more worrying than that it is in fact, "Yorkshire Day" today!


I don't think that gets us very far if Plusnet didn't send the message,


I guess my point that I didn't spell out was that virus messages tend to get posted thousands of times in question on forums so a search for an exact string of the message tells us if other people have suffered the same problem. Given there were NO proper hits discussing infections etc, this suggests no-one else out there is asking about this. The conclusion is that if something malicious is going on, they only bothered to send it to you and no-one else. Highly, HIGHLY unlikely! So I don't think you need worry much while you find out exactly what is going on.

Bouleversee
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330251

Postby Bouleversee » August 1st, 2020, 7:31 pm

Thanks to all for your responses. Having now accessed the link provided by Breelander, I am no longer worried. However, I am very annoyed about wasting your time and a lot of mine pursuing this. How on earth could the support team at Plusnet not know about it and it wasn't just one idiot; I made him check further up the line and he said they wouldn't send out emails with my username on them but couldn't say how come the sender knew it. And why were they sending it to me anyway? I have a broadband contract with them which still has a long time to run and penalty for breaking early and the website says this offer is for new users only. I have never had an email like that from them; perhaps they have a new marketing guru. What has broadband got to do with Yorkshire. I phoned rather than going on the website because you have to raise a ticket and don't get a reply for some time. I did send an email asking for confirmation of what I had been told but just got an auto-reply directing me to raise a ticket on the website if I had a query. I shall now be making a complaint. As it happens I am originally from Yorkshire but they don't know that and

I didn't think I would be the sole recipient but came on here to see whether anyone else had had the same. There is always a first to report such things and it might have been me!

I have been using Edge and been with Plusnet for quite a long time. Windows seems to do frequent updates, Yahoo likewise. I wish they would just leave things alone, especially as I don't understand half the language. I haven't bookmarked anything as I have yet to try doing so. What I have done from time to time is minimise things I wanted to read again later but they remove them after a while and add little boxes to the screen for things I use regularly. My Samsung tablet has also been completely changed around which I find very irritating and of no benefit.

As regards the icon, I know that Windows has its own security system because I get messages from time to time saying a check has been done and nothing untoward found. However, I wouldn't know how to ask for a check from them. Could it be that they are using Avast and have put the Icon on my screen? What does "your address is visible" mean and why doesn't the message stay on screen long enough to let me read all of it?

How I hate computers! And it now looks as though I shall have to buy a smartphone in order to see my doctor, whoever that is this week. :shock:

GrahamPlatt
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330261

Postby GrahamPlatt » August 1st, 2020, 8:20 pm

I have had several calls on t’mobile from an unrecognised number in the last couple of weeks. Then the other day I was (a passenger) in the car and on impulse, answered. “This is Three, is that Mr P?” - “Yes”... “We would like to tell you of some new offers (etc) first can you confirm your dob, postcode, etc.” and stupidly, I did. Then he (male voice) starts to tell me about my upgrade options to such & such a new phone/deal. Well, since I’m only six months into a two year contract, I smell a fish and suggest he checks his records. The signal is poor and the line drops. Now I’m worried. Why the heck did I give my personal details to someone on an unsolicited call. Back home I ring Three and am relieved to hear that the number that called me was indeed theirs, their marketing team. Lesson: if I ever get that again, give bogus responses and wait for the other party to tell me that’s wrong.

Moderator Message:
Off-topic really. Please stick to the OP's topic (chas49)

ReformedCharacter
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330265

Postby ReformedCharacter » August 1st, 2020, 8:29 pm

Bouleversee wrote:Could it be that they are using Avast and have put the Icon on my screen? What does "your address is visible" mean and why doesn't the message stay on screen long enough to let me read all of it?


No, Windows security won't use Avast. Presumably Avast was set up on your PC and Avast Secureline was activated, either as part of a paid for subscription or a time-limited installation was made to the free version, see:

https://www.avast.com/c-hide-my-ip-address

Likely your subscription to the Avast Secureline has now expired or if you had a paid-for installation it has now reverted to the free version.

The 'address is visible' notification means that your IP address is visible (actually the IP address of your router) to websites that you visit. Opinions may differ but for most people this is not a significant security risk and Avast are trying to persuade you to buy their product again. Whether you actually need Avast at all is another question and the consensus now seems to be that the security provided by Windows 10 is better than Avast is likely to provide. On the other hand if you have an earlier version of Windows the free version is likely sufficient and I wouldn't personally be persuaded to part with money for the paid for version. If you have Win 10 and are happy to make do without Avast then uninstalling it will remove the 'nag messages'.

RC

Bouleversee
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330271

Postby Bouleversee » August 1st, 2020, 9:11 pm

ReformedCharacter wrote:
Bouleversee wrote:Could it be that they are using Avast and have put the Icon on my screen? What does "your address is visible" mean and why doesn't the message stay on screen long enough to let me read all of it?


No, Windows security won't use Avast. Presumably Avast was set up on your PC and Avast Secureline was activated, either as part of a paid for subscription or a time-limited installation was made to the free version, see:

https://www.avast.com/c-hide-my-ip-address

Likely your subscription to the Avast Secureline has now expired or if you had a paid-for installation it has now reverted to the free version.

The 'address is visible' notification means that your IP address is visible (actually the IP address of your router) to websites that you visit. Opinions may differ but for most people this is not a significant security risk and Avast are trying to persuade you to buy their product again. Whether you actually need Avast at all is another question and the consensus now seems to be that the security provided by Windows 10 is better than Avast is likely to provide. On the other hand if you have an earlier version of Windows the free version is likely sufficient and I wouldn't personally be persuaded to part with money for the paid for version. If you have Win 10 and are happy to make do without Avast then uninstalling it will remove the 'nag messages'.

RC


As I said earlier, I have never subscribed to Avast and hadn't even heard of them till the icon and messages appeared very recently and I looked them up on Google today. I have had this computer for nearly 4 years and have never paid for any security programme and I haven't signed up for the Avast free service trial as I have the free version of Malware Bytes which I thought was good enough in addition to that of Windows so how that icon got there a few days ago is a mystery but it doesn't look as though I need worry about it.

dspp
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330311

Postby dspp » August 2nd, 2020, 10:00 am

Moderator Message:
relocated, dspp

Stompa
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330329

Postby Stompa » August 2nd, 2020, 12:29 pm

Bouleversee wrote:As I said earlier, I have never subscribed to Avast and hadn't even heard of them till the icon and messages appeared very recently and I looked them up on Google today. I have had this computer for nearly 4 years and have never paid for any security programme and I haven't signed up for the Avast free service trial as I have the free version of Malware Bytes which I thought was good enough in addition to that of Windows so how that icon got there a few days ago is a mystery but it doesn't look as though I need worry about it.

Did you install anything else around the same time the icon appeared?

Sometimes Avast can get installed when you're installing some other piece of software. The installer for the other software will offer to also install Avast, and you may need to explicitly uncheck a box to avoid that happening. It's very easy to miss, and is a pretty unscrupulous practice in my view.

CCleaner is one example of such software:

https://community.ccleaner.com/topic/51 ... ober-2019/

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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330331

Postby ReallyVeryFoolish » August 2nd, 2020, 12:42 pm

Stompa wrote:
Bouleversee wrote:As I said earlier, I have never subscribed to Avast and hadn't even heard of them till the icon and messages appeared very recently and I looked them up on Google today. I have had this computer for nearly 4 years and have never paid for any security programme and I haven't signed up for the Avast free service trial as I have the free version of Malware Bytes which I thought was good enough in addition to that of Windows so how that icon got there a few days ago is a mystery but it doesn't look as though I need worry about it.

Did you install anything else around the same time the icon appeared?

Sometimes Avast can get installed when you're installing some other piece of software. The installer for the other software will offer to also install Avast, and you may need to explicitly uncheck a box to avoid that happening. It's very easy to miss, and is a pretty unscrupulous practice in my view.

CCleaner is one example of such software:

https://community.ccleaner.com/topic/51 ... ober-2019/

Indeed, this tactic is insidious and becoming ever more common. I never ever accept a default installation of any software anymore. I always check the custom install option when available. I have had various McAfee and Avast installs the last few years and they can be a pain in the neck to get rid of. I am 99.9% sure the OP has accidentally installed this unwanted Avast software. His backdoor installation of unwanted software has gone too far now in my opinion. It now needs legislation to stop it.

RVF

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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330343

Postby Breelander » August 2nd, 2020, 1:48 pm

Stompa wrote:.Sometimes Avast can get installed when you're installing some other piece of software... It's very easy to miss, and is a pretty unscrupulous practice in my view.

CCleaner is one example of such software...


To avoid that install the Slim version or use the Portable version. Both are completely free of any such bundled 'unwanted extras'.

https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/builds

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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330345

Postby Bouleversee » August 2nd, 2020, 2:03 pm

I did a Webinar or Zoom call and I think I had to sign up for something to see pictures my son sent but can't remember anything else. I am actually an ancient "she" rather than "he"; hence my lack of knowledge about and aversion to the technical side of computers. It's like a foreign language and although I was very good at languages, this is one that frequently stumps me.

What is CCleaner? Is it a programme to get rid of viruses?

Breelander
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330351

Postby Breelander » August 2nd, 2020, 2:50 pm

Bouleversee wrote:What is CCleaner? Is it a programme to get rid of viruses?


No, it a program to clean up junk files (amongst other things). Does the same as (actually, a bit more than) windows own built-in Disc Clean-up function. Not an essential program, so don't worry about (or install) it.

Bouleversee
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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330354

Postby Bouleversee » August 2nd, 2020, 2:57 pm

OK, thanks.

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Re: Strange Icon and Strange e-mail from Plusnet

#330356

Postby richfool » August 2nd, 2020, 4:03 pm

Breelander wrote:
Bouleversee wrote:What is CCleaner? Is it a programme to get rid of viruses?


No, it a program to clean up junk files (amongst other things). Does the same as (actually, a bit more than) windows own built-in Disc Clean-up function. Not an essential program, so don't worry about (or install) it.

C Cleaner is very good. It removes cookies and unnecessary left over links and junk on your computer. It will also clear history if you wish. It also has a facility to uninstall any programmes you want uninstalling.

I have it installed and use it, on my laptop.


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