Posted: 5 Min ReadFeature Stories

Scams Involving Fraudulent Use of NortonLifeLock Branding

NortonLifeLock is a trusted name in consumer Cyber Safety. Unfortunately, hackers and scammers want to take advantage of the trust we’ve built, and fraudulently use our name and branding to try to trick and defraud consumers.

 

With more people spending more time than ever on their computers, we have seen an uptick in reports of scams abusing our company name.  Although we are continuously working to block, shut down and otherwise prevent this abuse, scammers are always coming up with creative new ways to defraud people.  Be aware of these common types of scams, which start through email, phone, text and sometimes even your browser.

Phishing (or Email Fraud)

Messages that impersonate NortonLifeLock often try to create a sense of urgency by threatening to charge your credit card unless you respond, or with warnings about expired anti-virus settings or an infection on your computer. Most include an urgent request that you contact someone, asking the reader to sign on to a spoof site, open an attachment, call an 800 number or respond with personal or account information.

While some of these emails contain typos, misspellings and poor formatting, others are impressively professional. To establish their credibility, scammers may represent that they know supposedly “personal” information about you, like your proximity to your bank, but a lot of this information can be gathered through easily found information.

Phishing emails may look like a renewal notice, with a threat to bill your credit card unless you call the number listed, or they might look like a warning about a virus. Many of the spam emails using Norton, LifeLock or NortonLifeLock names include offers with fake links to buy or renew antivirus or other security services. Unfortunately, these links do not lead to legitimate NortonLifeLock websites, but instead to sites controlled by the scammer.

In one case, cybercriminals sent a scam phishing email, which appeared to be from NortonLifeLock, and included an attachment with malicious macros. The email provided instructions on opening the attachment and enabling macros in order to trick victims into installing malware that gave the scammer significant access to the consumer’s computer. Criminals leveraged the trust people have in NortonLifeLock to trick them into compromising their own computer.

Malware can do a variety of things. It may pop up fake virus warnings and try to get you to call an 800 number for support. Unfortunately, you’ll only reach fake tech support scammers, discussed more below. It can also allow scammers to place other malware on your machine that can be used to record your keystrokes, spy on you, or access your financial information.

If you’re not sure if the email you’ve received is real, we have some tips to help out.

Learn more about phishing here.

Tech Support Fraud

Phishing emails that direct you to call or click for technical support can lead to tech support fraud. Scammers have claimed to be tech support from NortonLifeLock to create trust, and trick consumers into communicating with these fake tech support agents.

These criminals cold-call directly by phone. They also communicate by text message or email, or they use pop-up messages from your operating system or browser that can look quite legitimate. These messages use scare tactics with threats about the computer being infected with a virus or other problems and direct the user to call a specific phone number. At that point the cybercriminal usually requests remote access to your computer and installs malware on your system to perpetuate the scam. They may demand for money for the “services” they are providing. 

Be aware that fraudulent search engine results can also lead you to fake tech support phone numbers. Always navigate directly to the NortonLifeLock member portal and seek tech support from there directly. You will never receive an unsolicited call from Norton Support to fix issues with your computer for money.

Learn more about tech support scams.

Fraudulent requests for payment

NortonLifeLock will never ask you to wire funds through services such as Western Union or send a cashier’s check. Most any request to do so is likely coming from a hacker or scammer. Similarly, NortonLifeLock will never request payment using cryptocurrency, or electronic gift cards. Finally, NortonLifeLock will not ask you to send funds to a PayPal, Zelle, Venmo, CashApp or other such payment service. Any communication of this type is a red flag that you are dealing with a scammer and not a real NortonLifeLock representative.

Protect yourself

Protect yourself by ignoring suspicious emails or texts purporting to be from NortonLifeLock. If the message is using scare tactics or threats, or asks for personal or financial information, it is not from NortonLifeLock. If you receive a suspicious email or text message, don’t respond, click any links, or open attachments.

Don’t sign in to your account from a link in a suspicious message. To sign on, go to www.norton.com or www.lifelock.com by typing the address into your browser directly, and sign in from there.

Don’t use search engines to get customer support numbers. Log-in directly to your account and navigate from there to access support.

Install the latest anti-virus software solutions on all your devices.  Of course we hope you select NortonLifeLock, but even if you don’t, it’s important that you protect your devices from this type of crime.

NortonLifeLock will never ask you to wire money, pay through gift cards, or money orders.

Hackers use a variety of tactics to trick consumers into the scams.  Be suspicious of unsolicited emails and avoid clicking links in any email, text or pop-up that looks suspicious.  Genuine NortonLifeLock emails will not include attachments.

When in doubt, type support.norton.com in your browser bar to get help.

If you've been a victim

If you’ve been tricked into clicking a suspicious link or opening a malicious file, you need to have your computer examined for malware. Once cybercriminals have remote access to your computer, the potential for identity theft and financial losses increase dramatically. If possible, use a separate device to locate a reputable source of technical support, as some malware will prevent you from browsing to a legitimate antivirus site.

NortonLifeLock is here to help.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
Copyright © 2020 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Microsoft and the Window logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About the Author

Patrick Schwind

Head of Consumer Services and Inside Sales NortonLifeLock

Patrick is passionate about maximizing the value of the product through education and great customer experiences. In his 5 years at NortonLifeLock, his team has won several awards and created new processes to expedite the restoration process for Cyber Safety.

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