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Universal Driver Update: Was I Scammed?

Saturday, October 31st, 2015 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Windows 10
 
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A reader fell for something that I want to make sure to warn you about. She writes: “What do you know about Universal Driver Updater?  When I upgraded my computer to Windows 10, I had to leave for an appointment before it was done.  When I came back later, my husband went on the computer and there was a message on the screen to call a certain number because my computer could have a virus or was compromised.  Not knowing what to do, I called the number.  I talked to techieplatoon.  I ended up paying $250 for 3 months of service.  They took over my computer and I have been able to do e-mail and other things normally on my computer.  However, I keep getting this notice from Universal Driver Updater that I have 18 out of date or corrupt drivers that need updating.  However, it\’s going to cost me another $30 to have them updated.  Is this a legitimate program?  Is there another way to get your drivers up-to-date for free?  One of the things that happened when I updated to Windows 10 was that my printer wouldn’t work.  I have a Dell V313w all in one.  Techieplatoon fixed that problem for me, but now my printer is called something else – not Dell v313w.  Also, the printer won’t scan a document.  Any advice on that? Thanks so much for your help.”

update-drivers-now

Oh dear. I wished you’d asked before signing up. I guess it’s not precisely a scam because they do get you driver updates, but it’s pretty close to it. That pop-up your husband saw had nothing to do with you Windows 10 update. It was just an ad pop-up from a website that mimics a warning from a PC.

Any company that gets business that way is not one I’d care to let on my computer. Even if a company really does find driver updates for you, there’s no reason in the world you’d have to pay for it. Windows 10 will look for driver updates for you and so will many anti-virus programs.

If the system can’t find them, you can always go to the manufacturer’s website to find them for FREE. There’s certainly no reason to pay someone to look for them, but even if you wanted to, I sure wouldn’t trust a company that uses those methods to find customers.

driver-update-scam

Don’t give them another penny and if there’s some type of software installed on your PC from them, get it off. Made sure to run malware and anti-virus software to make sure they haven’t left anything suspicious on your PC.

As I said, Windows 10 should look for updates for your devices, but you can also go to the manufacturer’s support site to find them.  Click here for your printer. Dell’s support forums may be the best place to find information about your scanner.

dell-driver-updates

I’m not saying you can’t pay a computer tech to handle things like driver updates if you absolutely want to, but I wouldn’t use anyone who uses shifty methods to obtain your business and I certainly wouldn’t give this company any more money. In fact, because of the shifty way they got your business in the first place, I’d consider putting in a dispute with my credit card company.

If your PC sees that drivers are out-of-date, it will look for them online or it will direct you to go to the manufacturer’s website. It won’t send you towards a pay service.

~ Cynthia

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6 Responses to “Universal Driver Update: Was I Scammed?”

  1. JJM says:

    As bad as all the calls from ‘Windows Support’ claiming ur computer is sending ‘error’ messages or as the last phony tech I messed with claimed – I was ‘sending junk to neighboring WIFI users’. If I have time to hassle them I’ll let them wait 5 minutes while I’ll ask them ‘which computer’ and lie back to them about ‘taking 5 or more minutes to boot-up’. Questioning them enough to get them to claim it’s my Dell computer (which I don’t own any) or it’s involving my Comcast Account (which I don’t have). Still need to record a “Hold” message filled with a dozen interruptions so I can play it and waste more than 15 minutes of their time and only 1 minute of mine.

  2. Bob Eldridge says:

    I am sorry to hear of the member’s bad experience with driver software but not all driver software is malicious. I had been using a product called Drivermax but you were limited to one driver download per day unless you upgraded to their premium license. (I chose not do that)
    However, I have been using a free product called Slimdrivers for several years which allows you to download all the updated drivers found on your PC in one session. The software is free (there is paid version called Driver Update that will automatically keep multiple PC updated but that is suited more for a business environment with an IT person and multiple networked machines).
    The software offers to back up your registry (good idea), backs up your current drivers and downloads and monitors the installation of new drivers from Intel and other manufacturers. Unlike Drivermax, it only finds official drivers (Drivermax would find both official and 3rd party hacked drivers – the hacked ones sometimes were wonderful and sometimes did not work properly and I had to roll back my drivers to a past setting). Slimdrivers only presents official driver updates.

    It has been my experience on several machines both laptops and desktops that Microsoft’s built in driver updater rarely finds and installs the latest drivers and it allowed my 2012 laptop to continue to use drivers from 2011 instead of the updated ones from 2013 and 2014 (updated chipset drivers from Intel). I guess Microsoft figures that unless the PC is not running smoothly, “let sleeping dogs lie”
    I suggest you give Slimdrivers a look. It is free – the company has a Trustpilot rating of 9.3 (excellent). They publish their address and location (Mississippi US) and their software has no malware or adware. (according to Glary and Malwarebytes).
    P.S. I am a long time subscriber to Worldstart.

  3. wayne says:

    Try shutting your computer off and rebooting it ,when it starts again don’t open the page with the drivers info on it , run a good anti-viral software or anti-spy ware to get rid of the virus , I had the same problem a number of times and they asked for the same thing, you can try DRIVER BOOSTER 3 from IOBIT SOFTWARE also it works pretty good .If you can try running the anti spyware software in SAFE MODE.

  4. Brent & Shirley Norlem says:

    We accidentally tripped the wrong button for rating the universal driver update: was I scammed? item. We could not back up and get it right. The item was excellent advice for those new to such scams. Our rating should be reversed to show highly positive approval. (How come we could not adjust our faulty rating? Perhaps you should enable doing so.)

  5. Bill says:

    Scams are everywhere. My printer stopped working. I contacted the support address that was listed in the guide book that came with the printer. The tech informed me that my computer was infected with a trojan much worse than any virus and that I should either let him fix it or unplug the computer. He drew an illustration on my screen and was pretty convincing. (After I unwittingly gave him permission to take control of my computer.) He gave me two options for prices to fix it remotely as a better choice than say Staples or Fast Buy. I was dubious. One was for 1 year at $180 and a 3 year offer for $300 plus. I declined and contacted Microsoft and they checked the computer and said there was absolutely NO PROBLEM. Unfortunately, that checkup cost me $150.00. But, at least I gained peace of mind.

  6. Mary Bellebuono says:

    I too have gotten burned big time by these scams, right now it is Slim Cleaner & Driver update. When i signed on for the Slim cleaner it was supposed to be free not i keep getting pop-ups for slim Cleaner plus wanting to charge more then i care to pay. I can not get rid of these now.
    I am not too computer smart so this is not the first time i have gotten burned. The one that i did pay for CERT plus i can get no information on and i did pay 250 dollars for . Now how dumb is that on my part.
    Thank you for letting me vent here.

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