Early this morning, I was checking my social media feeds and spotted this comment from Avast! on Facebook:
Earlier that day I’d picked up a copy of a newspaper that had an article on sextortion we’d worked with them on. The last quote from me in that was “Don’t let shame kill you”. Now I’m seeing this company publicly call victims of “all online scams” greedy. They also posted it on their Twitter feed, but this time the wording was slightly different:
Not “All online scams” this time, but rather “Online scams”. This shows someone took the time to edit the wording before posting it. Due to this, we’ve made the decision to no longer recommend Avast!” antivirus on our site and have removed the links to their download page from both our steps and the “read this first” thread. We’ve also removed their software from our own computers and switched to a different company. It’s a constant struggle fighting the “victims are stupid and greedy” myth, and posts like this only make it harder. Now we’re not denying that some people get caught up in scams due to their own greed, but many become sucked in due to naivety, desperation, even the desire to do good. Are charity scam victims greedy? Are “work from home” scam victims greedy? Are romance scam victims greedy? What about the victims of hitman scams? Grandparent scams? Phishing? “Tech support” scams? I could go on. Dismissing all scam victims as greedy is not only lazy reporting, but puts victims at risk. We at ScamSurvivors refuse to support anyone who makes such sweeping, harmful statements. We should all be better than that.