Do not trust fake Norton subscription renewal pages

Also Known As: Your ANTIVIRUS subscription has expired pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is "Your ANTIVIRUS subscription has expired"?

Scammers use various techniques to trick unsuspecting users into providing sensitive information, making monetary transactions, installing unnecessary (or even malicious) software, and so on. Usually, they employ email, deceptive websites, text messages, and other channels for this purpose.

In this particular case, scammers try to monetize a deceptive website claiming to be a legitimate, official Norton security product page. In fact, this page has nothing to do with any official Norton website.

These deceptive pages are generally promoted through deceptive advertisements, other untrustworthy pages, and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

Your ANTIVIRUS subscription has expired scam

This deceptive page displays a fake status of the Norton product subscription. It shows a fake message stating that the Norton antivirus subscription has expired and warns that the computer is now vulnerable/exposed to viruses, malware.

This page also claims that users are eligible for up to 70% off the regular subscription price if they renew the subscription by a specific date (in our example, March 8, 2021).

Typically, these websites are opened even when users do not have Norton (or other security suites) installed on their computers. There are similar scams that lead to legitimate product pages and are monetized by earning commission from the sales.

It is also likely that this deceptive page is used to advertise a legitimate Norton product, however, legitimate companies do not allow rogue affiliates to advertise their products or services using false advertising or other misleading methods, as is the case with this page.

Therefore, do not trust this or other similar pages - they often trick users into purchasing fake products or even installing malicious software.

Scam websites and other bogus web pages are often promoted through potentially unwanted applications, which can collect browsing data and other information, as well as generating advertisements.

Most target IP addresses, websites of visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations, etc. Nevertheless, they are capable of accessing sensitive, confidential information as well. Developers sell the information to third parties (potentially cyber criminals), or monetize it in other ways. Examples of ads that PUAs serve are coupons, banners, surveys, and pop-ups.

These are often used to promote bogus sites, however, they might also cause download/installation of unwanted applications by executing certain scripts.

Therefore, remove all PUAs from browsers and operating systems immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Your ANTIVIRUS subscription has expired pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Norton antivirus subscription has expired
Disguise Notification from Norton
Relate Domain antivirus.int-safe1[.]com
Serving IP Address
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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More examples of deceptive scam websites that are designed to appear like official product pages are "Microsoft Security Essentials Alert", "WARNING CRITICAL MESSAGE", "Required Video Codec Is Not Installed On Your Computer".

These pages can be used to trick users into installing unwanted, potentially malicious software, sending money, providing remote access to the operating system, and for other malicious purposes. Therefore, avoid these dangerous websites.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

People often download and install unwanted apps inadvertently via deceptive advertisements - they click ads that cause unwanted download/installations by executing certain scripts.

Unwanted downloads and installations also occur during download/installation of other programs. I.e., when PUAs are included into the set-ups as 'extra offers'. This PUA distribution method of PUAs is called "bundling".

Typically, offers to download and install these additional apps can be declined via "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings, or by unticking certain checkboxes within the set-ups. When users download and install programs without making these checks and changes, they often allow PUAs to infiltrate.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Download software and files from official websites and via direct links. It is not safe to use torrent clients, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, unofficial websites or other sources of this kind.

Avoid third party installers. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings, and decline offers to download or install unwanted software. Do not click ads that are displayed on dubious websites, since they can open other untrusted websites or even cause unwanted downloads and installations.

Remove any unwanted, suspicious applications (extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins) that are installed on the browser. The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system.

Regularly scan your computer with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep this software up to date.

If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in Your ANTIVIRUS subscription has expired fake notification:

Your ANTIVIRUS subscription has expired

Your subscription of ANTIVIRUS Protection for Windows has expired on March 4, 2021.

After the expiry date has passed a virus may infected your computer, malicious malware might be installed, or your identity may be stolen.

Your PC is unprotected, it is exposed to viruses and other malware ...
Discount (March 8, 2021):
You are eligible for UP TO 70% OFF

[Renew Subscription]

Screenshots of browser notifications (delivered by pushwelcome[.]com) used to promote "Your ANTIVIRUS Subscription Has Expired" scam:

Example 1:

Your ANTIVIRUS Subscription Has Expired scam promoted via browser notification (sample 1)

Example 2:

Your ANTIVIRUS Subscription Has Expired scam promoted via browser notification (sample 2)

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Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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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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