Online security is more important today than ever before. As we conduct more of our daily lives online, from shopping and banking to social media and email, it’s crucial that we take steps to protect our private information and data. Many people turn to security software like Norton Life Lock to keep their devices and online accounts safe. However, scammers are now taking advantage of this need for security by sending out fake renewal invoices for Norton Life Lock and other Norton products.
These scam emails often include urgent messages about an upcoming renewal payment along with a phone number to call. If users fall for this scam and call the number, the scammers on the other end will gain remote access to their computer under the guise of providing customer support. From there, the scammers can steal personal and financial information directly off the infected device. Unfortunately, these types of scams are becoming more and more common.
In this comprehensive article, we will break down exactly how the Norton Life Lock scam email renewal invoice scam works, provide tips on how to spot a fraudulent email, explain what to do if you have fallen victim to this scam, and outline steps you can take to better protect yourself going forward.
This Article Contains:
Overview of the Scam
The Norton Life Lock scam email renewal invoice scam is a phishing scam where scammers send out fake invoices claiming your Norton security software subscription is about to renew. The emails are made to look like they are official correspondence from Norton or Life Lock. They will include your name, a convincing logo, and an urgent tone warning that your software is expiring.
Some versions of the scam claim you have an outstanding balance owed. Others say the renewal payment has already been processed. Either way, the goal is the same. The scammers want victims to call the phone number included in the email, often listed as Norton customer support.
Of course, the number does not actually connect to Norton. It routes directly to the scammers themselves. When users call thinking they are speaking with a Norton rep, the criminals posing as support staff gain remote access to their computer. From there, the scammers can install malware, steal personal data, and gain login credentials to hack accounts.
This type of scam is often referred to as social engineering because it manipulates users through fear and urgency. The scammers rely on victims being concerned about their software expiring. By posing as Norton support, they can build trust quickly over the phone. This allows them to trick users into downloading remote access software under the false pretenses of helping renew their subscription.
These sophisticated scams look very legitimate on the surface. However, upon closer inspection there are usually some red flags that indicate the email is not authentic. Being able to spot these signs are key to avoiding becoming a victim.
How the Scam Works
The Norton Life Lock scam email renewal invoice scam is quite devious in how it works to deceive victims. From the design of the fake invoices to the social engineering over the phone, many layers of manipulation are at play. Here is a step-by-step look at exactly how this scam operates:
Step 1: Scammers Send Fake Invoices
The first step of this scam involves the scammers sending out mass emails made to look like official correspondence from Norton. The emails have convincing branding and graphics. The message within warns users that their Norton security software or Life Lock subscription is about to renew.
The emails can claim a balance is due or that the automatic renewal payment has already been processed. Either way, they convey urgency that your account needs attention. Most importantly, a customer support phone number is prominently displayed. This tricks users into calling the number under the impression they will speak with Norton.
Step 2: Users Call the Fake Support Number
When users call the phone number listed on the fake Norton renewal invoice, they believe they are contacting official Norton customer support. However, in reality the number routes directly to the scammers themselves. This allows them to immediately launch into the next phase of manipulation and social engineering.
The scammers who answer the call pose as Norton customer service agents. They have scripts to quickly gain the trust of victims. Right away they pull up the user’s account info, which makes it seem like the call is legitimate. Then they apologize for the confusion over the renewal and claim they will fix the issue on the user’s computer remotely.
Step 3: Scammers Gain Remote Access
This is the most critical phase of the scam. Still posing as Norton support staff, the scammers convince victims to grant them remote access to their computer. They provide step-by-step instructions for downloading screen sharing software under the guise this will allow them to fix the renewal problem and assist with the account.
In reality, the scammers have now achieved their main objective. With remote control of the victim’s device, they have free reign to install malware, steal data, and infiltrate accounts.
Step 4: Scammers Steal Personal Data and Money
Once they have remote access, the scammers pivot to extracting anything of value from the device and connected accounts. They may discretely download malware to continue gathering data in the background. They will dig through files and programs looking for login credentials, financial information, or personal data to steal.
The scammers can also leverage their control of the computer to access connected accounts. For example, if the user’s email or online banking info is saved, the criminals can easily log in and drain funds. They essentially have free range to take whatever sensitive info they can get.
Step 5: Scammers Cover Their Tracks
To avoid getting caught, the scammers need to cover their tracks before ending the scam. They will delete any programs they installed and purge logs showing their remote access activities. The scammers want to remain undetected so they can continue to steal data and money over time.
Before releasing control of the computer, the criminals also often trick the victim into paying for bogus anti-virus software or unnecessary Norton services. This adds insult to injury by getting the users to hand over their credit card info directly to the scammers.
Only after covering up all traces of their presence will the scammers finally release control of the device. But the damage will likely already be done through stolen data, compromised accounts, and malware infections.
Red Flags to Spot a Fake Norton Renewal Email
These sophisticated scams can look quite convincing, making it hard for users to discern real from fake. However, upon closer inspection there are usually some red flags that indicate the renewal invoice is not legitimate:
- Generic greetings – Real correspondence from companies will address you directly by name. Scam emails often start generically with “Dear customer” or “Valued user”.
- Spelling and grammar errors – Phishing scams often contain typos, awkward phrasing, and grammar mistakes. Real emails from a company like Norton would not.
- Incorrect contact information – Double check that any customer support number actually matches Norton’s real contact info from their official website.
- Suspicious links and attachments – Never click links or open attachments from an unsolicited email without verifying it first, as they can contain malware.
- Requests for immediate action – Scam emails want to incite panic so you act before thinking. Real renewal notices provide adequate time to address any issues.
- Follow up emails – If you received a renewal notice recently, getting another one right after likely signals a scam.
- Requesting sensitive information – Norton would never ask for your password, social security number, or other sensitive details over email.
Staying alert for any of these red flags can help you avoid being deceived by fake Norton renewal invoice scams. When in doubt, reach out directly to Norton customer support through their official channels to verify any concerning emails.
What to Do If You Fall Victim to the Scam
If you have already fallen victim to a Norton Life Lock scam email renewal invoice scam, don’t panic. Immediately take the following steps to limit the damage and regain security of your accounts:
Step 1: Contact Your Bank and Credit Card Companies
If you already provided financial information or remote access, the first priority is protecting your accounts. Call your bank and credit card companies to warn them of potential fraudulent charges. Report any charges you did not authorize and consider cancelling cards that may have been compromised. Quick action can limit the financial damage.
Step 2: Reset All Account Passwords
Assume that any account passwords stored on your computer have been compromised. Use a clean device to reset the passwords for all of your online accounts, including email, social media, banking, etc. Make the new passwords unique and strong. Turn on two-factor authentication wherever available.
Step 3: Scan Your Device for Malware
The scammers may have secretly installed malware during their remote access session to continue harvesting data. Download Malwarebytes to scan your computer for infections. Quarantine or remove anything suspicious. If infections are severe, you may need to reset your device to factory settings.
Step 4: Contact the Real Norton Support
Contact the legitimate Norton customer support (via their official website, not via email) to report the scam. They can help check for infections related to any Norton software on your device and provide tips to prevent future scams.
Step 5: Monitor Accounts Closely
Keep a close eye on all of your financial statements and online accounts over the next few months. Report any further suspicious activity. The scammers may have collected information to allow them to continue accessing your accounts. Persistent monitoring helps detect unauthorized access quicker.
Step 6: Warn Contacts About the Scam
Let your friends and family know about the scam email to prevent them also being victimized. Share key details about the fake invoice emails to help them identify and avoid these scams.
Taking these steps quickly can greatly reduce the impact if you unfortunately fell prey to one of these scams. But prevention is the best protection against these threats.
Is Your Device Infected? Check for Malware
If your device is running slowly or acting suspicious, it may be infected with malware. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free is a great option for scanning your device and detecting potential malware or viruses. The free version can efficiently check for and remove many common infections.
Malwarebytes can run on Windows, Mac, and Android devices. Depending on which operating system is installed on the device you’re trying to run a Malwarebytes scan, please click on the tab below and follow the displayed steps.
Scan your computer with Malwarebytes for Windows to remove malware
Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
Download Malwarebytes for Windows.
You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES FOR WINDOWS DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the MBSetup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with a User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the Malwarebytes installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes setup wizard which will guide you through the installation process. The Malwarebytes installer will first ask you what type of computer are you installing this program on, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
On the next screen, click “Install” to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen.
Click on “Scan”.
Malwarebytes is now installed on your computer, to start a scan click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malicious programs.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will now scan your computer for browser hijackers and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Quarantine”.
When the Malwarebytes scan is finished scanning it will show a screen that displays any malware, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. To remove the adware and other malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
Your computer should now be free of trojans, adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.
If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing Malwarebytes Premium to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:
Scan your computer with Malwarebytes for Mac to remove malware
Malwarebytes for Mac is an on-demand scanner that can destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss without costing you absolutely anything. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free, and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
Download Malwarebytes for Mac.
You can download Malwarebytes for Mac by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES FOR MAC DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Mac)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the setup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes for Mac Installer which will guide you through the installation process. Click “Continue“, then keep following the prompts to continue with the installation process.
When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.
Select “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer”.
The Malwarebytes Welcome screen will first ask you what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
Click on “Scan”.
To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes for Mac will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will scan your computer for adware, browser hijackers, and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Quarantine”.
When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malware that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
Your Mac should now be free of adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.
If your current antivirus allowed a malicious program on your computer, you might want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove a malicious program from your computer, please ask for help in our Mac Malware Removal Help & Support forum.
Scan your phone with Malwarebytes for Android to remove malware
Malwarebytes for Android automatically detects and removes dangerous threats like malware and ransomware so you don’t have to worry about your most-used device being compromised. Aggressive detection of adware and potentially unwanted programs keeps your Android phone or tablet running smooth.
Download Malwarebytes for Android.
You can download Malwarebytes for Android by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES FOR ANDROID DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Android)
Install Malwarebytes for Android on your phone.
In the Google Play Store, tap “Install” to install Malwarebytes for Android on your device.
When the installation process has finished, tap “Open” to begin using Malwarebytes for Android. You can also open Malwarebytes by tapping on its icon in your phone menu or home screen.
Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup process
When Malwarebytes will open, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through a series of permissions and other setup options.
This is the first of two screens that explain the difference between the Premium and Free versions. Swipe this screen to continue.
Tap on “Got it” to proceed to the next step.
Malwarebytes for Android will now ask for a set of permissions that are required to scan your device and protect it from malware. Tap on “Give permission” to continue.
Tap on “Allow” to permit Malwarebytes to access the files on your phone.
Update database and run a scan with Malwarebytes for Android
You will now be prompted to update the Malwarebytes database and run a full system scan.
Click on “Update database” to update the Malwarebytes for Android definitions to the latest version, then click on “Run full scan” to perform a system scan.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will now start scanning your phone for adware and other malicious apps. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Remove Selected”.
When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes for Android has detected. To remove the malicious apps that Malwarebytes has found, tap on the “Remove Selected” button.
Restart your phone.
Malwarebytes for Android will now remove all the malicious apps that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your device.
Your phone should now be free of adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.
If your current antivirus allowed a malicious app on your phone, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your phone after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:
- Restore your phone to factory settings by going to Settings > General management > Reset > Factory data reset.
- Ask for help in our Mobile Malware Removal Help & Support forum.
How to Protect Yourself from Scam Emails
While no one is completely immune from scams, there are important steps you can take to reduce your risk:
- Use security software – Maintain Norton, McAfee, or another trusted security program to block suspicious emails and malware.
- Enable two-factor authentication – Add an extra layer of account protection beyond just a password by requiring a secondary form of authentication.
- Check email addresses – Scam emails will come from weird addresses. Legitimate companies will have proper domains.
- Avoid clicking links and attachments – Links can download malware. Attachments can contain viruses. Verify via other means before interacting.
- Slow down – Scams create false urgency hoping victims respond without thinking first. Resist pressure to act quickly.
- Verify requests out of band – Do not call numbers or trust instructions in an email. Independently lookup official contact info to confirm odd requests.
- Monitor your accounts – Routinely review your financial statements and online account activity to spot unauthorized changes that indicate identity theft.
- Report scams – Alert email providers, Norton, and authorities about scam emails to help protect others from falling victim.
Staying cautious and following these best practices makes you a much less attractive and vulnerable target for scammers. Patience and vigilance is key to protecting yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Norton Life Lock Scam Email
What is the Norton Life Lock scam email renewal invoice scam?
This is a phishing scam where scammers send fake invoices claiming your Norton security software subscription is expiring. The emails appear to come from Norton and trick users into calling a fraudulent customer support number controlled by the scammers.
How do the scammers profit from this scam?
When users call the number, the criminals pose as Norton support agents and convince victims to grant them remote access to their computer. They then steal personal data, install malware, and drain bank accounts.
What are some red flags that indicate the email is a scam?
Watch for generic greetings, spelling/grammar errors, urgent pleas for action, incorrect contact info, suspicious links/attachments, and requests for sensitive personal information.
What should I do if I received one of these scam emails?
Do not click any links or call any phone numbers listed in emails you suspect could be fake. Report the scam email to your email provider’s spam/abuse address. Reach out to Norton directly through their official website to verify renewal before taking action.
What if I already called the number and gave them access to my device?
Immediately contact your bank, reset all account passwords from a clean device, scan for malware, monitor your credit reports, and alert contacts about the scam to help prevent them from also falling victim.
How can I protect myself from this scam in the future?
Use security software, enable two-factor authentication, check email addresses closely, avoid clicking links/attachments, slow down and verify any urgent requests, monitor your accounts routinely, and report any scam emails.
Can Norton remove malware or viruses installed by scammers?
If you are a Norton customer and scammers installed malware during a scam call, you should contact Norton’s official customer support for assistance removing infections and securing your device.
How can I get a refund for any unauthorized charges?
Contact your bank and credit card issuer immediately about any fraudulent charges. You can request to reverse the charges and get new account numbers issued. Provide them details about how you were scammed.
Following the advice within this FAQ can help you avoid falling victim to the Norton Life Lock scam email renewal invoice phishing scam and protect yourself from cyber threats.
The Norton Life Lock scam email renewal invoice scam is a sophisticated social engineering threat that is deceiving many unsuspecting victims. Scammers rely on fear and urgency to trick users into calling fake support numbers and granting remote access to their devices. This allows the criminals to covertly install malware and steal personal data to infiltrate accounts.
However, by learning to identify tell-tale signs these emails are fake and strictly avoiding calling unfamiliar numbers or downloading software from unsolicited messages, you can protect yourself. Report scam emails to warn others. If you did fall victim, take steps to change passwords, scan for malware, monitor your accounts closely for fraud, and alert your contacts. Staying informed about the tactics and tradecraft of cybercriminals is your best defense against modern scams and phishing threats.