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How to recognize scams like Norton Subscription Has Expired email scam?

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is the Norton Subscription Has Expired email scam?

Scammers use various techniques to monetize their spam emails. One is to trick recipients into believing that their antivirus software is expiring (or has already expired) and into renewing their licenses via provided website links.

If they succeed, the rogue affiliates (scammers behind these emails) earn a commission from the sale (antivirus renewal). Emails of this type should be ignored. Note that most antivirus solutions inform their users regarding license expiry via notifications from the software, however, some companies do send such reminders via email.

Norton Subscription Has Expired email scam email spam campaign

Norton Subscription Has Expired email scam in detail

Scammers behind this email attempt to trick recipients into believing that the installed Norton 360 software has expired (or will expire in 24 hours) and into renewing it via the provided website link ("Renew NOW" button).

Moreover, they encourage recipients to do this as soon as possible. Scammers claim that, if recipients renew the Norton license on the same day, they will receive a 50% discount. Note that these emails often are not targeted: even users who do not have any Norton product installed on their computers might receive the emails.

As mentioned, scammers send these emails to scare recipients into purchasing a Norton license so that they can earn commission from the sales. Be aware that legitimate companies do not allow affiliates to promote their software or other products using misleading, false advertising, or other deceptive methods.

Norton is not the only antivirus product that rogue affiliates advertise using deceptive techniques.

Threat Summary:
Name Norton Subscription Has Expired Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Norton antivirus subscription has expired
Disguise Letter from Norton renewal center
Related Domains developedfuture[.]com, neutromargeens[.]com
Serving IP Address (developedfuture[.]com) 104.21.50.242
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

What other harm can be caused via email?

Note that emails that contain attachments or links are often sent to trick recipients into installing malware onto their computers. Usually, the emails are disguised as official messages from legitimate companies or other entities. Recipients install malware when they download and open the malicious attachment/file.

Some examples of emails scams that cyber criminals employ to trick recipients into providing personal information or installing malware are "EMPLOYEE BENEFITS Email Scam", "Budapest Bank Email Virus", "Banco De Espana Email Scam" and "Ministero Dello Sviluppo Economico Email Virus".

How do emails can be used to infect computers?

Cybercriminals send emails that have a malicious file attached, or include a website link designed to download a malicious file. Their main goal is to trick recipients into executing the file, which then infects the computer with malware. That file could be a Microsoft Office document, archive file (ZIP, RAR), PDF document, executable file, JavaScript file.

Note that malicious MS Office documents can install malware only when users enable editing/content (macros commands). If the documents are opened with MS Office versions prior to 2010, however, the documents install malicious software automatically, since these older versions do not include "Protected View" mode.

How to avoid installation of malware

You are advised to download files and programs from official websites and via direct download links. Other tools and sources such as third party downloaders and installers, unofficial pages, and Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients) should not be used to download or install software.

Check all "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings (or available checkboxes) for offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Do not click ads on dubious websites, since they can be designed to open bogus web pages or cause unwanted downloads and installations.

Remove any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins and add-ons installed on the browser, and software of this kind from the operating system.

If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the email:

Subject: Last reminder, Your Antivirus expires in 24 hr

The Norton subscription has expired today

Norton Renewal Center

Your Norton Security subscription has expired Your subscription to Norton 360 Total Protection Expired on 02-17-2021

After the expiration date has passed Your computer is susceptible to many different virus threats.
Norton Antivirus protects your family from viruses, spyware, malware botnets and mare.

• Available (-50%) Renwal, Discount Today

Renew Your Norton License Now!

Click here to renew your Norton Anti-virus
Renew NOW

Copyright © 2021 Norton Inc. All Rights reserved

The advertiser does not manage your subscription.
If you prefer not to receive further communication please unsubscribe here

Appearance of the deceptive Norton renewal page:

norton subscription has expired email scam fake website appearance

Example of another Norton-themed scam email promoting an identical website:

Norton Anti Virus Protection 50% Off scam email (2021-04-15)

Text presented within:

Subject: your Computer Could Be at Risk ! Stay Protected GET Norton NOW

 

Protect all your devices from viruses and hackers

Norton Anti Virus Protection 50% Off

Without AntiVirus protection, Your computer could be At Risk!

Purchase or renew now to keep your PC protected

if your PC doesn't have AntiVirus Protection, it is risk for viruses and malware

Limited Time Offer: 50% discount on Norton Antivirus

Act today to protect your devices

Activate your Anti-Virus Protection

GET PROTECTED

Copyright © 2021 Norton Inc. All Rights reserved

Example of another Norton-themed spam email used to promote a phishing (phone) scam rather than a phishing website:

Norton-themed spam email promoting a phishing scam (2021-05-27)

Text presented within:

Subject: Thank you for your Payment Norton

 

NortonLifeLock

Dear ********

Thanks for using NORTON  LifeLock Computer Protection Plan for the last 2 year.
Your subscribtion has been Auto-renewed and your Account/Card has been debited by $499.99.

Amount will be auto debited and will be reflected in your bank account by today's EOD.
If you wish to cancel this Subscription then Contact our Billing Department 1(360) 284-4337

Download the pdf below to get details about your service.


Regards
Billing Department
+1(360) 284-4337

Yet another example of Norton-themed spam email:

Norton-themed spam email (2021-10-29)

Text presented within:

Subject: Hurry!! your device has been infected again !!Subject: dfcvbc


Subscription Details
! Subscription: Expired
NORTON

Your Antivirus Protection Has Expired

Account ID : 35541
User : [to]
Safe status : Suspended
Discount : 75%Renewal discount

Your Norton for for the windows subscription has expired today 00:00. .

Norton subscriptions are recommended to protect your device. is activated to use a special discount on Thu, 16 Sep 2021 10:51:37 -0400

Once the expiration date has passed, the computer is exposed to many different threats.

It cannot be protected, it can be exposed to viruses and other Malware software?

You are entitled to the discount: 75%discount on renewal for 1 year

The offer expires: 30/10/2021

Renew membership

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

Malware process running in the Task Manager

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

Autoruns application appearance

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Run Windows 7 or Windows XP in Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup.

Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings".

Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Run Windows 8 in Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options".

In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

Run Windows 10 in Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

Extract Autoruns.zip archive and run Autoruns.exe application

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Refresh Autoruns application results

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

Delete malware in Autoruns

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

Search for malware and delete it

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs.

These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software. To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

These email letters are not personal (most of the times). Scammers send the same emails to a number of people without targeting anyone in particular.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?

If any account credentials have been disclosed, then it is strongly recommended to change all passwords immediately. If other details like credit card numbers, ID card details have been provided, then it is recommended to contact the relevant authorities.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Computer infections can be caused through email by opening malicious attachments or website links. It is not harmful just to open an email used to distribute malware.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?

It depends on the type of file. Microsoft Office, PDF documents do not infect computers unless users enable macros commands (enable editing/content). Other files (for example, executable files, JavaScript files) can infect computers once they get opened.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate practically all known malware infections. Performing a full system scan is recommended because malware can be sophisticated and hide itself deep within the system.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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