Let’s Walk Through This Phishing #Scam Using Norton’s Name To See Why It’s A Scam And Why It’s Dangerous

It’s been a while since a scam email has hit my inbox. But, I have a new one that is pretty interesting to me. Let’s start with the email in question

So this scam leverages the Norton brand to do its dirty work. That makes sense as you’re more likely to respond to a scam if it purports to be from someone whose name you recognize. But what is interesting is that there’s nothing for you to click on such as a link to a website for example. We’ll get to that part of the scam in a moment. But let’s dissect this to understand why this is a scam. You’ll note that the English in this email is really bad as evidenced by phrases like “In sympathy” and “please contact us as soon as possible to avoid the recent transaction dispute”. But there’s one other hint that this is a scam. When I check the email address, this is what I see:

Norton is owned by Broadcom which is a massive billion dollar company. Billion dollar companies don’t use Gmail. Ever. So if you see an email from a billion dollar company, or a million dollar company for that matter that uses Gmail or any public email service, it’s a scam and you should delete the email in question.

So, let’s get back to the fact that the email doesn’t have you click on any links. The clear intention the email is to get you to phone into the scammer. Presumably to get you to let some person take control of your computer to do who knows what to it. Or to gain your confidence to allow them to do something like take over your bank account. Which reminds me of this case where a client of mine almost lost a pile of money to a scam like this.

In the interest of finding out what this scam is all about, I called the number, WHICH YOU SHOULD NEVER DO, and got a very bad connection to someone who was clearly in India based on the accent. This person had me “verify” the payment number at the top of the email and put me on hold. There was actually hold music playing until he accidentally disconnected me. I called back and got the same guy which implies that this is a small operation. Though I did hear other people in the background which might imply that he was in a call centre of some sort. In any case, he then claimed that a “David from Ohio” had purchased Norton Antivirus and if I was him. When I said that I wasn’t, he claimed that someone had gotten my “financial details” and he needed to walk me through the process to cancel the software. That’s when he directed me to TeamViewer.com. I hung up at that point as I got everything that I needed. What this scammer was going to do was get access to my computer, then likely walk me to a fake website, then use that as a means to get to my bank account so that they could drain it. In other words, it is a similar scam to the one that I linked to in the paragraph above.

So, what is the take away from this? If you get an email from a company that you don’t have any services with, delete the email as falling for a scam like this never ends well.

UPDATE: A reader correctly points this out:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: