Action Required : Active Your New Adobe PDF Reader – Fraud

If you can’t sell your product, pretend to be something else.

Adobe’s PDF reader has been in the news frequently over the past year or so because of security issues. But this isn’t about that. This is about taking advantage of Acrobat Reader’s high visibility and accelerated update schedule to funnel traffic to a different PDF reader.

Subject: Action Required : Active Your New Adobe PDF Reader

From: “Adobe Support” <newsletter@adobe-download-center.com>

ADOBE PDF READER SOFTWARE UPGRADE NOTIFICATION

This is to remind that a new version of Adobe Acrobat Reader with enhanced features for viewing, creating, editing, printing and internet-sharing PDF documents has been released.

To upgrade your application:

+ Go to http://www.adobe-download-center.com
+ Get your options, download and upgrade.

Thanks and best regards,
John Brian
Adobe Acrobat Reader Support

Copy rights Adobe 2010 © All rights reserved
1125 Marrinbird Rd | Merryton | CA | 96223 | USA

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The Adobe Reader has been the de facto standard for reading PDF files since Adobe invented the Portable Document Format in 1993. In recent years there have been more and more alternatives available and the link to adobe-download-center.com in the email above takes you to a site where you can download one.

That is, if you’re not extremely suspicious that they asked you to “active” your Adobe Reader and now they’re trying to get you to download something called PDF2010.

To be fair, the folks at PDF2010 may not have pulled this scam directly. The domain adobe-download-center.com is registered with a Russian domain registrar (a common trait of many spam domains). It’s possible that the spammer is just taking advantage of the affiliate program at pdf-new-2010-download.com (which is where you end up if you go to adobe-download-center.com).

On the other hand, we’re kind of skeptical of PDF2010 since they’re offering to include a “free office suite” with your download. The office suite they’re including is OpenOffice.org which has always been freely available. Looks like they’re trying to take advantage of people who don’t already know about OpenOffice.org.

It also looks like they’re trying to take advantage of people who don’t know the difference between Adobe Reader and PDF2010.

Not nice.

You can download Adobe Reader here: http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/

On the other hand there are alternatives and, let’s face it, good ol’ Adobe Reader is getting kind of bloated and slow. The hive mind at lifehacker.com did the legwork on this recently and we recommend trying one of the non-adobe PDF readers on their 5 best list.

Finally, it is notable that Adobe Reader is on the Lifehacker 5 best list but PDF2010 is not. That about sums it up. No wonder they have to use false advertising.

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