Keep an eye out for this fake invoice

Many software companies adopted a Software as a Service (SaaS) business model about ten years ago. Instead of making a one-time purchase for a program, it is sold for a monthly fee. The best example of this is when Microsoft changed the model for Office. Tap or click here for free alternatives to Microsoft Word.

It wasn’t long before others followed suit, including antivirus company Norton. You can get all the online protection that the product offers, while receiving updates for a fixed monthly fee.

The provider usually sends you an email when your subscription ends. But read on to see how scammers are using this system to steal money.

Here’s the backstory

If you have a monthly subscription to Xbox Game Pass or Office 365, you probably won’t be surprised to receive an email from Microsoft. However, it would raise some questions if you don’t have a membership.

The same goes for Norton and its plethora of security products. But an old scam has resurfaced, trying to trick people into paying for their annual subscription even if they don’t have one or don’t pay. Unsurprisingly, the phishing emails have nothing to do with Norton.

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The scam has several variations but they all follow a similar trend. First, victims receive an email from an unknown contact claiming that an “Annual Product Membership” for a Norton product has been renewed.

The products often mentioned in the emails include:

Norton Total ProtectionNorton Total All Round SecurityNorton 360Norton 360 Auto EditionNorton PC LifeNorton Family All DeviceNorton LifeLock

The official-looking invoice includes a phone number that recipients can call for alleged refund and settlement issues. If your scam radar didn’t go off, you might be tempted to call and find out what’s going on.

What can you do about it?

The best thing to do when you receive an email like this is to block and delete the sender. When you call the number, the person on the other end of the line will often try to help you. They will insist that they need your bank details to verify the account and issue a refund. But this is all part of the scam.

Here are ways to outsmart scams like this:

Avoid clicking links, downloading attachments, or calling phone numbers in unsolicited messages. If you are unsure of any message or link, contact the company it is believed to have come from directly, or via phone numbers you know to be legit. Carefully inspect the email address of the suspicious message. In most of these fake Norton emails, the sender was using a default Gmail account, which should be the first indication that it’s a scam. Norton is aware of the scam and set up a website where you can verify that an email claiming to be from the company is legit. Switch to the only antivirus software Kim trusts, our sponsor, TotalAV. Get an annual subscription of TotalAV Internet Security now for just $19 at That’s over 85% off the regular price.

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This support scam is cheating you with a fake antivirus account


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Learn the tech tips and tricks only the pros know.

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