What is "Norton cloud Subscription activated Email Scam"?
"Norton cloud Subscription activated Email Scam" refers to a spam campaign. These emails claim that users have been automatically billed for a premium Norton subscription. It must be emphasized that the information provided by these letters is false. Furthermore, the emails are in no way associated with the Norton AntiVirus or NortonLifeLock.
"Norton cloud Subscription activated Email Scam" overview
The fake "Norton cloud Subscription activated" emails state that recipients have been automatically subscribed to Norton and its premium services. The cost is 199.99 USD, and the automatic subscription will be renewed for such a sum every three months. To contact customer support with questions or a cancellation request, the scam letters urge recipients to call the provided telephone number.
As mentioned in the introduction, these emails are fake and by trusting them - users risk experiencing various severe issues.
Emails like "Norton cloud Subscription activated" often operate in tandem with technical support and refund scams. These schemes aim to trick victims into calling fake helplines and allow scammers (claiming to be tech/customer support) to remotely access their devices. From that point on, the cyber criminals can deceive users into disclosing sensitive information (e.g., names, addresses, banking and other online account usernames/passwords, credit card details, etc.) by claiming that they cannot see it as it is typed, through phishing websites, or similar.
Scammers can also damage the remotely accessed devices by infecting them with malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.). These heinous actions are performed under the guise of providing aid with uninstalling products, turning off automatic subscriptions, and so forth.
In the case of a refund scam, users are often asked to manually enter the sum that they are receiving whilst the screen is blacked out. Then the scammers claim that the sum was incorrect and far more was transferred to the users' bank account (the deceit is carried out by editing the banking website's HTML so that it would seem like there is more money in the account). Victims of this scam are then asked to return the excess (commonly with sob stories of the scammer's potential job termination, etc.).
Furthermore, the money has to be transferred in difficult/impossible to trace methods. This is done to ensure that users could not return their money and the criminals could avoid persecution. Popular methods include - asking for digital currency (e.g., cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, gift cards, etc.) or requesting to ship the money in cash hidden in packages.
To summarize, by trusting the "Norton cloud Subscription activated" emails and similar scams, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft.
|Name||Norton cloud Subscription activated Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam emails claim that recipients have been billed for a Norton subscription.|
|Disguise||Scam emails are disguised as notifications from Norton.|
|Scammer Phone Number||+1-(808)-215-3443|
|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.
Spam campaigns in general
These letters can have various disguises and use different models - to generate revenue at victims' expense. In addition to phishing and other scams, spam campaigns are also used to distribute malware. Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process happens when a document is opened in pre-2010 Microsoft Office versions. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros; instead, users can manually enable them. It is noteworthy that virulent documents often contain messages intended to trick users into allowing macro commands (i.e., editing/content).
How to avoid installation of malware?
Suspicious and irrelevant emails should not be opened. Furthermore, the links and attachments found in these letters - can trigger system infections when clicked/opened. It is also advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.
Malware is also spread via dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to always download from official/verified sources and activate/update programs with tools provided by genuine developers.
It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Norton cloud Subscription activated" scam email letter:
Subject: 11-02-2021, Auto-app product ordered. Thank you for the Order ********.
Norton cloud Subscription activated for ********. Enjoy Premium Services.
Norton BackUp added, Order Id: NOIO9128456
Purchase value: $199.99
App Only Order placed
Thank you for the Order. Your subscription will get auto-renewed every 3 months by $199.99 USD, unless you cancel by November 02, 2021.
It is an App-only order, for any Queries, or Customer Support or to Cancel Subscription call our Customer Care: +1-(808)-215-3443 (Toll Free) between 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM CST.
Norton Store Team
Copyright © 2021 Norton Inc. All rights reserved.
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- What is Norton Cloud Subscription Activated spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why did I receive this email?
Spam emails are sent in large-scale operations. Hence, thousands of users receive the same email, with the cyber criminals hoping that at least some of the recipients will fall for the scam.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you've disclosed account credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support. If you have provided other personal data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - contact the relevant authorities without delay.
I have allowed cyber criminals to remotely access my computer, what should I do?
If you've allowed cyber criminals to remotely access your device - disconnect it from the Internet, uninstall any remote access programs you've been asked to install (e.g., TeamViewer, AnyDesk, etc.), and scan the system for malware. If an infection was detected - use an anti-virus to remove the malicious software without delay.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening a spam email will not trigger any infection processes. Malware download/installation is initiated when the links present in such emails are clicked, or the files attached to the letters are opened. Alternatively, allowing cyber criminals to access your device remotely - can also result in a system infection.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether an infection chain was jumpstarted depends on the file's format. If it was an executable - most likely, yes, the system has been infected. If it was a document (e.g., .doc, .pdf, etc.) - you might have avoided triggering such processes, as doing so can require additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands, etc.).
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. Note that running a full system scan is crucial, as sophisticated malicious programs typically hide deep in the system.