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Cyber scams and how to avoid them

Internet scams are different methodologies of Fraud, facilitated by cybercriminals on the Internet. Scams can happen in a myriad of ways- via phishing emails, social media, SMS messages on your mobile phone, fake tech support phone calls, scareware and more. The main purpose of these types of scams can range from credit card theft, capturing user login and password credentials, and even identity theft.

Here are some of the most common cyber scams,

Email scams

Emails and text messages that impersonate NortonLifeLock often try to create a sense of urgency by threatening to charge your credit card unless you respond. They may also include warnings about expired antivirus 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.

Never click on any link in suspicious emails. Forward such suspicious emails as an attachment to spam@nortonlifelock.com.

Refer Verify that an email you receive from Norton is legitimate for the list of legitimate domains.

Sample email:

Sample email

Tech support scams

Companies posing as software support providers claim to offer software support services on behalf of major technology companies to gain access to and exploit your personal information. They often gain your trust by misrepresenting their relationship with reputable companies, and prey on the fear of your computer becoming infected with viruses and malware. Many spend hundreds of dollars on useless software and bogus support services, which often results in unknowingly downloading dangerous software that opens their computers to scammers. For more information, read the article Tech Support Scams.

Social media scams

Social media scams are a variety of posts you will see in your news feeds- all with the goal of getting you to click on a link that could potentially be hosting malware. To know more about the different types of social media scams, read the article Learn more about social media scams.

Mobile app and SMS/TXT scams

Scams using a mobile phone can come in many forms, but the most common are phishing apps and scam text messages. These are designed to look like the real thing, just like phishing emails. It is the same premise, however, instead of emails, the malware is passed through a fake app or an SMS/TXT.

Tips and best practices to avoid cyber scams

  • Don't open emails, click links, and/or download attachments from questionable sources. 
  • Don't believe in tempting offers. If you think a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Use two-factor authentication. Along with strong, unique passwords, it can never hurt to add an extra layer of security to your online accounts.
  • Make sure you are using updated antivirus software. Keep informed about new types of malware that are circulating.
  • Don't answer any requests for personal information or passwords.
  • Reject any unsolicited advice or help. Scammers either request your help with information or offer to help you, often by posing as tech support.

Next steps if you have already been scammed

  1. Change your passwords: to your computer, to financial institutions, to your Norton account, and to any other password-protected websites that you visit.
  2. Run a Full System Scan for viruses on your computer.
  3. Use Norton Power Eraser, which uses a more intensive method to scan your computer in order to detect more complex threats that a traditional antivirus program can’t detect.
  4. Contact the company that charged you and request a refund. If you cannot get a refund directly from the company, contact your bank to report the problem.
  5. File a complaint with the appropriate authority:

    Competition & Consumer Protection Authorities Worldwide.

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DOCID: v105274822
Operating System: Android;Mac;Windows;iOS
Last modified: 07/18/2022