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Avoid getting scammed by fake "Norton Subscription will renew today" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Norton Subscription will renew today" email?

"Norton Subscription will renew today" refers to an email spam campaign. These letters are disguised as subscription renewal notifications from NortonLifeLock. It must be emphasized that these emails are fake and none of their claims are true. They are also in no way associated with the Norton AntiVirus or NortonLifeLock.

Norton Subscription will renew today email spam campaign

"Norton Subscription will renew today" email scam overview

The scam emails state that recipients will be billed 349.99 USD for the renewal of their Norton subscription. The amount will be deducted within 24 hours. Should users wish to cancel the subscription or think that this is an unauthorized transaction - they can contact the billing department and receive a refund.

It must be stressed that these emails are fake, and recipients will not be billed any amount. However, should the scam letters be trusted - that can result in a variety of serious issues.

Spam campaigns like "Norton Subscription will renew today" often operate as technical support and/or refund scams. The scheme begins when users are ticked into phoning fake support representatives/technicians. The cyber criminals then request victims to allow them remote access (via the use of legitimate software) to their devices. Once access is established, the scam model can vary.

Scammers can trick victims into disclosing private data (e.g., personally identifiable details, account usernames/passwords, credit card details, etc.) by simply asking for it, claiming that they cannot see it as it is being typed, through phishing websites, and so on.

Cyber criminals can also remove genuine protection software, install fraudulent purchasable programs (fake anti-viruses, etc.), or even infect the system with malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.). These actions can be performed under false claims of providing tech support like - uninstalling products, removing viruses, manually canceling subscriptions, etc.

Meanwhile, in refund scams - victims are asked to type the refund amount themselves while they cannot see the screen. By editing the HTML of victims' bank accounts - criminals create the impression that the refunded sum far exceeded the agreed-upon amount.

n fact, the funds present in the account remain unchanged, and it is only a ruse to force victims into transferring their own money to the scammers. Hence, when victims return what they believe to be the refund excess, they are, in fact - losing their own money.

Furthermore, cyber criminals typically demand the extra funds to be transferred in difficult/impossible to trace methods, thereby ensuring that victims would be unable to return their money and they could avoid persecution. Common tactics include requesting the amount to be paid in digital currencies (e.g., gift cards, pre-paid vouchers, cryptocurrencies, etc.) or in cash hidden within packages and shipped.

To summarize, trusting the "Norton Subscription will renew today" emails or similar scams - can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Norton Subscription will renew today Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that recipients' Norton subscription will be automatically renewed within 24 hours.
Disguise Scam emails are presented as notifications from Norton.
Scammer Phone Number +1 (802) 221-0108
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)

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Spam campaigns in general

"Norton cloud Subscription activated", "Download The Pending Mails Manually", "Sharpsmart Inc. Email Scam", "Your Outlook Account Was Logged In", and "WalletConnect Email Scam" are some examples of spam campaigns.

This mail can wear varied disguises and use different scam models. In addition to phishing and other scams, these emails are also used to proliferate 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?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed as attachments or download links in spam emails. These files can be Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, etc. When the files are opened - the infection chain is triggered.

For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins when a document is opened in pre-2010 Microsoft Office versions. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents this automatic process; instead, users can manually enable macros (i.e., editing/content). It is noteworthy that virulent documents often contain messages designed to lure users into allowing macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and irrelevant should not be opened. The attachments and links found in these emails - must not be opened, as they can cause system infections. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Aside from spam mail, malware is spread via dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to always download from official/verified sources and activate/update programs with tools provided by legitimate developers.

It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats/issues. 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 Subscription will renew today" scam email letter:

Subject: Your Order ID:#8900658469

 

Norton
Invoice No: NORTON1152438536

 

Your Subscription with NORTON LIFE-LOCK will Renew Today and $349.99 is about to Debit from your account by Today.The Debited Amount will be reflected within the next 24 HOURS on you A/C statement. If you feel this is an unauthorized transaction or you want to cancel the subscription, please contact out billing department as soon as possible.

 

Billed To
Customer ID: 3101760967
Invoice Number: NORTON1152438536
Renewal Date: November 02 2021

 

Description | Quantity | Unit Price | Total
Norton Life-Lock Protection Service | (One Year Subscription) | $349.99 | $349.99
Subtotal $349.99
Sales Tax $0.00
Total $349.99

 

If you didn't authorize this Charge, you have 24 Hrs. To cancel & get an instant refund of your annual subscription, please contact out customer care : +1 (802) 221-0108

 

Thanks

 

Official NortonTM Support Centre

 

Copyright © 1997 - 2021 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved NORTON Support LLC

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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?

Spam emails are not personal. The same email letter is received by thousands of users.

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

If you have provided account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support without delay. And if the disclosed information was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

I have allowed cyber criminals to remotely access my computer, what should I do?

If you have allowed cyber criminals to remotely access your device - first, you have to disconnect it from the Internet. Secondly, uninstall the remote access software you've been asked to install (e.g., AnyDesk, Team Viewer, etc.). And lastly, perform a full system scan and remove all detected threats.

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

No, reading a spam email will not initiate any malware download/installation processes. Systems are infected when the files distributed through spam emails (e.g., attachments, download links) - are opened.

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

Whether your system was infected - depends on the file's format. If it was an executable, most likely - yes. However, you might have avoided jumpstarting an infection if it was a document (e.g., .doc, .pdf, etc.). These formats can require additional actions (e.g., macro commands enablement) to initiate malware download/installation.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate nearly all of the known malware infections. It is noteworthy that high-end malicious software is usually hidden deep within systems. Therefore, it is crucial to perform a full system scan.

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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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