By BECKY RUTHERFORD
You’ve probably heard of antivirus programs like Norton, McAfee, etc., but did you know that they can be used to compromise your home network?
No, not a backdoor in the software or something, something much simpler.
Antivirus-themed phishing scams are currently “king of the hill” and one of the main ways to compromise your home network and bank account.
How does this scam work? You might receive a phone call or email regarding an invoice for a popular antivirus service.
Email scams are the most common.
If you received an email like the one pictured above, what would you do? It’s threatening right off the bat, looks like you’ll be billed $ 350 for a service you might not even use. The point here is to make you panic. Most of these emails don’t include a phishing link, they just have a phone number to call. The email address may look like Norton at first, but it’s usually from a Gmail address or other free email provider. The key here is not to panic, stop and think before you panic and interact with the email.
What will happen if you call the number or click on the link? The crooks will install remote access software on your computer and use it to steal your personal information. Once a crook has remote access to your machine, he can get what he wants.
In the latest news, an elderly North Carolina woman was scammed for $ 160,000 by a caller claiming to be from “Norton Tech Support.” He provided the woman with a link to pay online and then called her back several times claiming the payment had not been made. When her husband called the bank to verify the problem, he discovered that the crooks had stolen about $ 160,000 from their savings account.
The full story can be read here: https://www.wbtv.com/2021/12/09 sheriff-elderly-rowan-woman-scammed-out-160000-by-caller /
Norton says he can’t help customers who fall for the scam, but instead gives advice on what to do next: “Phone calls, like the one you received, can be phishing scams. criminals use it to try to get your information. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist or investigate any unwanted or suspicious phone calls such as these. We recommend that you never give out personal or banking information over the phone unless you can confirm who the caller is.
If you receive an invoice via email for antivirus software or anything else you don’t expect, it is probably a scam. Do not click on any link or call any number included in the email. If it’s a phone call, hang up. Large companies like this don’t call users for payment or send invoices for their services. They will not try to get you to install any remote access software on your machine.
If you get a call or email and feel bad, go to the company’s website and contact them directly either through their customer service number or email, and ask- him if there are problems with your account. Never click or call blindly based on unsolicited email! Be wary, or you risk getting ripped off.
Editor’s Note: Becky Rutherford works in the information technology field at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.