I heard from a reader who received a renewal notice that had her puzzled. It said that it was time to renew her security software, but she’s only just activated her subscription to Iolo System Mechanic’s PC Total Care. That subscription is good for an entire year. Let’s take a look at the notice.


It does look similar to an actual renewal notice. And look! There’s a 75% discount if you renew now.  But let’s take a closer look.  Notice anything unusual?  Nowhere does it say the name of the software that you are renewing. Have you ever known a company that didn’t want to mention the name of its product?  And no company logo? That’s  very strange. Also, check out that date. There’s no year. Real renewal notices tend to count down. They say something like, “you have 14 days left on your subscription.”  Also, this email arrived in September, so an August expiration date would be odd.

And just who is it from? Not Iolo, the company that makes System Mechanic. It’s not even from System Mechanic. If you think your software might actually be up for renewal, you’ll usually find that option in your program itself. Or you can just head over to the website for your security to check the status of your account.


And guess what else they don’t tell you? No price. So you might hit renew and put in your credit card information thinking you’re renewing your $20 or $100 per year security subscription and end up paying several hundred dollars.  Maybe they’ll offer you security software. Or may they’re just trying to get into your computer.

Congrats to our reader for being too smart to fall for it. Far too many people would just click it and find themselves  with a big bill.

~ Cynthia