Do not trust fake "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" emails

Also Known As: "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" spam email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge"?

After we inspected the "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" email, we determined that it is spam. This letter is presented as a notification regarding the purchase of the Norton 360 anti-virus. The goal of this mail is to trick recipients into calling the provided telephone number and lure them into a scam.

It must be emphasized that this spam email is fake, and it is in no way associated with Norton. Therefore, this letter must be ignored and reported as spam.

Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge email spam campaign

"Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" email scam overview

This spam email thanks the recipient for choosing Norton for their digital security. It states that a support executive will aid with the installation of the purchased "Norton360 Total Protection Antivirus".

The bogus purchase is supposedly 299.99 USD for three years of protection. The recipient will be charged within 48-72 hours, and afterward, the subscription will be activated. For more information, the spam letter instructs to call the provided helpline.

As previously mentioned, all the claims made by this email are false, and it is not associated with Norton.

The aim of mail like this is to deceive recipients into calling the scammers. How the scam progresses following this point can vary drastically. The cyber criminals' end goal is to generate revenue at victims' expense, but the techniques used to achieve this are varied.

Typically, scammers aim to gain remote access to victims' devices (e.g., with software like TeamViewer, UltraViewer, AnyDesk, etc.). Since the "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" letter states that a "support executive" with aid with installing the anti-virus, it is very probable that these criminals seek remote access.

Once connected, the cyber criminals can cause a wide variety of issues while pretending to perform maintenance, software setups, refund processes, malware removal, etc. For example, criminals may remove/disable genuine security tools, install fake anti-viruses, steal information, or infect the system with actual malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.).

Schemes like "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" often incorporate refund and tech support scam elements.

In the former, the scammers claim to help victims with canceling purchases or refunding payments. The user is asked to sign into their online banking account, and the cyber criminals then use the remote access program's feature to darken the victim's screen. They are then asked to enter the refund amount – although they cannot see their screen.

In the meantime, the scammers either edit the bank account webpage's HTML or move funds in-between accounts (e.g., from savings to checking). While neither of these actions actually affect the funds within the account, when the victim can finally see their screen – it appears as though a significantly larger sum has been transferred into their account. The criminals either plead or demand the user to return the excess amount.

In tech support scams, the scammers pretend to be technicians that aid users with various technical issues. It could be that the cyber criminals behind "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" promise to install the anti-virus, but instead infect the device with malware after the remote access is established.

The "services" of technical support scammers tend to be exorbitantly priced. Criminals prefer difficult-to-trace methods for the "payments", such as cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, gift cards, or cash hidden in innocent-looking packages and shipped.

Scammers also target personally-identifiable and finance-related information. They can acquire this data by tricking victims into disclosing it over the phone, entering it where the criminals claim that they cannot see it, typing it into phishing websites or files, etc. Information-stealing malware can be used for this purpose as well.

Cyber criminals can sell the collected data or otherwise abuse it for profit (e.g., steal victims' identities, make fraudulent transactions or online purchases, etc.).

To summarize, victims of scam mail like "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" may experience system infections, data loss, severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft.

If you've already allowed cyber criminals to access your device remotely – you must first disconnect it from the Internet. Secondly, remove the remote access software that the criminals used, as they may not need your permission to reconnect. Lastly, perform a full system scan with a reputable anti-virus and remove all detected threats.

If you believe that your private data has been compromised, in case the information at risk is account credentials – immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support. And if the disclosed data was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, passport scans/photos, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact the appropriate authorities without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" spam email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient is thanked for their purchase of a Norton anti-virus, and is informed that support will aid them with its installation. For any questions, the email directs the recipient to calling the provided helpline.
Disguise Norton
Support Scammer Phone Number (888) 965-6621, (888) 374-0302, (408) 381-7812, (808) 900-7214
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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Similar spam campaign examples

We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "PayPal - You Authorised A Payment", "Thank You For Shopping With Apple", "Windows Defender email scam", and "Apple Invoice" are just a few examples of ones used for callback scams like "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge".

These deceptive letters can be variously disguised, including as messages from legitimate companies, corporations, institutions, organizations, authorities, service providers, and other entities. In addition to phishing and other scams, these emails are also used to distribute malware.

Due to how widespread spam mail is – we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails can contain malicious files as attachments or download links. The files can be Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain (i.e., malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly advise being careful with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. The attachments and links found in suspicious mail must not be opened, as they can be infectious. We recommend using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.

Keep in mind that malware is distributed using various techniques. Therefore, we also advise downloading only from official and verified channels. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updaters can contain malware.

Another recommendation is to exercise caution when browsing since fake and malicious content usually appears ordinary and innocuous.

We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats and 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 "Norton360 Total Protection Subscription Charge" spam email letter:


Dear Customer,

Thank you for trusting Norton with the security of your digital life. Our Support Executive will help you download and install Norton onto your device(s) to start your subscription.

You have been charged with 299.99 USD for 3 Years Total Security. Your subscription will be active in next 72 hours.

Invoice ID: HNBWR8_ VBGF34
Invoice Date February, Wednesday 08, 2023
Payment Method Auto Debit from Card
Currency USD

Norton360 Total Protection Antivirus
Amount 299.99 USD
Tax 00.00 USD
Total Amount 299.99 USD

If you have made the payment from your bank account, please allow us 48-72 working hours for this transaction to be approved by your bank.

If you have any questions, please call us on (888) 965-6621

You can quote your invoice number for reference.

We're happy to assist you.

Jacob Hamley
(Billing Executive)

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing 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.

Email-virus icon 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.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

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:

Example of an email spam

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 not personal. They are distributed in large-scale operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical messages.

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

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

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

If you've allowed cyber criminals to access your device remotely – immediately disconnect it from the Internet. Afterward, uninstall the remote access software that the criminals used (e.g., AnyDesk, TeamViewer, UltraViewer, etc.). Then perform a full system scan with an anti-virus and remove all detected threats.

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

No, merely opening an email will not initiate any system infection processes. Devices are infected when malicious files or links are opened/clicked.

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

Whether your device was infected might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – the system was infiltrated. However, document formats (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may need additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.) – to start downloading/installing malware.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate threats. It can remove practically all known malware infections. Note that running a full system scan is essential – since high-end malicious programs usually hide deep within systems.

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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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