This scam looks real!

I got targeted by a pretty convincing scam today. Here’s the window that opened. It says my PC might be infected and that they will now do a quick 10 second PC scan. It comes up over a faded background that imitates what the Norton Security program looks like. It’s fairly authentic-looking, even down to the subscription status in the lower left corner that says only 30 days are remaining.


But, if I look at the top of my browser, that warning isn’t from my Norton program, it’s from a new tab that’s appeared on my browser called urgent messages and website address that I don’t recognize.


When I tried to close the warning I got this scary-looking display. It claims my PC is infected with five viruses and that my antivirus requires an update. It’s attempting to trick me into going to a page and downloading an alleged security update. If I were to click Proceed, I’d be taken to a site to download who-knows-what kind of malware.


Despite the Norton name this displays, this is not a Norton warning. I actually have Norton, and when I opened it this is my status. All is well.


What these scammers are counting on is a panicked reaction. If I’m in a panic, I don’t look too closely to see that’s not a real Norton status. I just go ahead and click what they tell me to and quite possibly end up downloading a payload of ransomware. Or they’ll try to reel me into paying for a security service by impersonating Norton.

That’s why it’s important to always take a moment and a good, deep breath before reacting.

One thought on “This scam looks real!

  1. Again, thanks for the updates on scams. the screen captures are especially helpful. I’ve had trouble getting them off my screen. Good hint on the browser name as well. Is it possible that these invasions drop malware inspite of not clicking on the link?

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