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Let’s say you get an email about a charge to your credit card for something you aren’t expecting or don’t want. Your first instinct may be to immediately call the company or respond to the email and to stop the payment. Scammers know that, and are taking advantage of it in a new phishing scheme.

People tell us they’re getting emails that look like they’re from Norton, a company that sells antivirus and anti-malware software. (Tip: the emails are NOT from Norton.) The emails say you’ve been (or are about to be) charged for a Norton product — maybe an auto renewal or new order. If this is a mistake, the email says, you should call immediately. (Tip: don’t.)

 Scam Email, Not Really from Norton. Learn more: ftc.gov/imposter. Report tech support scams at: ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Image of an email. From: [redacted]. Date: Tue, Feb 9, 2021. Subject: BILLING DEPARTMENT. To: [redacted]. Body of email: "You have been charged $299.99 for your Norton auto renewal. If there has been a mistake, please call 1-999-999-9999 within one business day when you are in front of your computer. Thanks & Regards, Norton (TM) Billing Team." Image of Norton logo with yellow circle and black checkmark.

If you call, you’ll be connected to a scammer. Some scammers might ask you to “verify” your credit card information, while others might say they need your password to remote into your computer so they can remove the Norton program. But if you let them, they could install malware, block you from getting to your own files, and sell you worthless services.

If you get an email or text you’re not sure about:

  • Don’t click on any links.
  • Don’t use the number in the email or text. If you want to call the company that supposedly sent the message, look up their phone number online.

Remember:

  • Never give your password to a stranger on the phone, even if they claim to be from a company you recognize.
  • If you did give out your password, change it right away, update your computer’s security software, run a scan, and delete anything it identifies as a problem.
  • Make your passwords long, strong, and complex.
  • Don’t give your bank account, credit card, or personal information over the phone to someone who contacts you out of the blue.

And if you do get a fake email like this, help your community by reporting it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

40 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Honest Abe
March 17, 2021
Thank you for a great service to the public
Beta
March 17, 2021
I get several emails a day from the fake Norton email address. Thankfully they all end up in my SPAM folder.
ds05
March 17, 2021
I've been getting a lot of calls with an automated voice telling me that $529 has been charged to my credit card and to call a # if this was not me so watch out
Paul
March 17, 2021
Thank you for being the voice of reason. Our society needs this.
nana
March 17, 2021
It seemed to me you were describing what happened to me on Feb.8th: I checked my checking account, and there was a charge I did not make, sent to me from the Geek Squad. They apologized, told me that immediately they would returned the money to me, to check my account again. There was a deposit, but for 3,000 plus the amount I disputed. I said I needed to return that money; was told me how to, and then again they deposited some money "by mistake".
Louise
May 03, 2021

In reply to by nana

Did you ever get any money back after being scammed? I lost all my money from the exact same scam. The bank will reimburse the money because I purchased gift cards to pay them back what they put into my account. I feel so stupid and wish I knew what else I could do to recover any of that lost money.
Pip
March 17, 2021
I get these e-mails and phone calls frequently. I report it as a phishing e-mail through my e-mail provider. If it involves money or my account, I call the company's phone number to ensure my account has not been tampered with. I have had no problems yet. I recently received a call from someone (foreign accent) from the Publisher's Clearing House (PCH). They eventually got down to the scam by asking me if I had a nearby drug store and they would provide a code. I knew this was a scam because PCH wouldn't ask about a drug store nor provide a code. I then called PCH to let them know about the scam and gave them what information I had. Be careful, concerning e-mails too. I received several scams claiming to be from an on-line company. I reported the scam to my e-mail provider as phishing and then called the company to ensure my account was not tampered with. Use extreme caution. Ask yourself if this is the way the company would conduct its business.
apehanger
March 17, 2021
This is very good information.
Smart Consumer
March 17, 2021
I pass along to any smartbl mobile phone user, never answer any phone recorded call or phone call that is not on your smart mobile phones Main Contact List also for texts that you receive that are not on your Main Contact List ever!! As that is a scammer! Who is a brainless theiving criminal! That will never ever know what a professional American employee is!!! And never ever will! And thank God for our FTC that sues these fake company's that our theiving criminals!!!! Forever! And needs to be put behind prison bars 4ever!!!!
Grannydragonfly
March 18, 2021
Thank you! Stuff we all know, but it's easy to react to a threat to your credit card. Recently I was told someone had purchased Smart TV on my Amazon card. Wanted to react, but just ignored and it went away.
Froggie
March 18, 2021
The email you advised me to use (ReportFraud.ftc.gov) to report fraud is not valid and when I use it I get a message that it is not a valid address!!!
FTC Staff
March 18, 2021

In reply to by Froggie

www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov is not an email.

It is a FTC website where you can report scams, frauds and bad business practices. Click on ReportFraud.ftc.gov to go to the site, or type www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov into the search bar on your computer to go to the website.

Do the right thing!
March 18, 2021
Had this happen not only with Norton but with Amazon. I sent all emails like this to SPAM!
nss
March 18, 2021
I usually spotted the potential emails, however it is very difficult to verify whether the phone numbers listed are legitimate. I often find the phone numbers are often run by the third party, marketing groups and/or suspicious loan and investment companies. - Just my personal experience.
Mhaera
March 22, 2021
Hope you can help me too and stop their illegal works and be fair to others..
WhiteGhostn't …
March 22, 2021
My wife is getting Emails about a computer she did not order. The msg says that she is going to get a $1,000.00 charge on her credit card. HA, What a joke. I wish we had a $1,000.00. But now we are getting Voice Mails along the same Idea. Thanks for the warning.
Fairly silly 1
March 24, 2021
I'm here to make sure I'm right, I got one this morning supposedly from Microsoft. I was already pretty sure that's what it was but now I know. I stuck the email in a folder just in case anyone wants to see it
Maia0724
March 24, 2021
I received the Norton scam as three different emails with three different amounts for auto-renewal which was from gmail accounts and not from LifeLock or Norton. I called the number, immediately was suspicious. Told them that no, they do not need to refund me that I would go into my account and access the support number from there and see what was what. I hung up on them and reported the scam. I saw on this site this is an ongoing on, and though I did not take the bait, I did file a complaint to help them narrow in on the scammer.
dc15
May 26, 2021
My husband received one of these emails this morning, alerting him that they have changed our account for $446.00 for an “auto-renewal”. We thought it seemed sketchy. Thanks for the heads-up!
lkr
June 09, 2021
I have received several of these per week, always from a different email address. Shouldn't Norton be warning people about these?
Robert 06-15-2021
June 15, 2021
Unknown source sent me an invoice for Norton Protection today, saying they were going to charge me $379.09 for one year of service. I Googled the name of the company, and did a search for a customer service phone number. Called that number , they had my email address, they gave me a case number, but "look out" for this scam.
MT
July 04, 2021
Thank you for verifying this Scam. I received a notice of renewal from Norton Security. Looked fake. Checked your site right away. You do a great service! thank you!
WiseTaxes
July 30, 2021
People are billing "for McAfee" and they want to get into your computer, do not allow them in. They are not honest and one argued and the last one just hung up when I would not open Chrome and let them in. VERY SERIOUS
Les W
August 10, 2021
Scam message from "N0RT0N" saying they're renewing my account (didn't have one). Note that Norton spelled with zeroes instead of o's. The English was correct and articulate but the phone number was written in an international style (altho origin appeared to be South Carolina). They didn't know my name and of course did not have my account. Some urgency expressed that I must reply within 4 hours to correct the problem. I ignored it all completely
Don't use your…
August 12, 2021

In reply to by Les W

Les, same thing happened to me last week. No Norton account but they are renewing with my credit card, wanted me to logon to my computer to clear Norton out of my software. I refused and hung up. I'll dispute any charge with the credit card company.
Xxx
August 19, 2021
Watch out for Norton tracking number and email saying that they charged your card to renew service. I never heard of this company and they emailing me the fake invoice. Do not call them back as they are trying to collect your bank details. Google the real company if you wish to talk to them. Take care!
CK3VENISE
August 20, 2021
Just received the scam email. Phone number to call 833-951-0167, they wanted $299.23
jsob
August 25, 2021
I got a fake email from Norton thanking me for choosing them and charging me 236.00. It gave a phone number to call with any questions. I did not, but I googles the number and it turned out to be a REAL number for a transportation service in St. Louis. 1 (800) 409-0302. Seems strange.
DadInAberdeen
August 27, 2021
Received this exact one today - submitted a report to the FTC.
Top Hat
August 31, 2021
I just got an e-mail from the Norton scammers. I figure if they have my credit card information, I would just dispute the charge.
James88
September 07, 2021
Sadly got an email today, looks so good and believable.
Leelyn
September 07, 2021
I am getting several of these a day. Today, so far, l have received 5. I have neve responded to any of them.
Stuart1945
September 20, 2021
I responded to an e mail saying Norton had taken $500 out of my bank account. I called the provided phone to protest and fell for the scam. When I went to buy the gift cards the manager of a dollar store knew what was up and we stopped them.
PwestNY
September 21, 2021
I received an email today from someone claiming to be from Norton. They said I had an auto renewal payment of $499.89 When I called the number given all I card was a ringtone that sounded like the old school internet router
Pcaravantes80
September 22, 2021
I just received one yesterday from Norton or whoever saying it would post 24-48 hours for 329.00 and the number was1800-634-9154 if I wanted to dispute but when I called first said put in a extension then said number was disconnected
Bob K
October 13, 2021
Second scam of the day (some autocheck thing earlier). Not a good Wednesday. Thanks
RS
October 13, 2021
I just today received this email scam in my inbox, so they're still at it.
Thankful
November 16, 2021
Thank you so much for this warning. I received this email and your warning helped me a lot.
NotshaftedthankGod
December 02, 2021
Much like these posts I have received several emails from a “Norton” imposter advising of an upcoming charge. They will attempt to tell you that a common name person “Michael Smith” was attempting to add this coverage and you have to get on your PC to complete a claim form. Immediately suspicious I advised them to send me the form as I only use my PC for business; this is when you get hung up on. Called back got another person and simply stated “look I just wasted 20 minutes of my time and I’m not doing it again or getting on my computer, just tell me if this is a scam”, the gentlemen’s response “then you should just hang up”. Beware folks!