Geek Squad? I think not. Don't fall for this scam.
Today I received an email that look important. You may have received this too. Here are screenshots of the email.
The items outlined in red are things that were concerning. The email said it came from the Norton Security Team. Well, when I clicked on the down arrow next to the email address, it actually came from firstname.lastname@example.org. Why would a Norton Security Team representative use his gmail account?
The business name is PC Solutions. That's not Norton. The email also states that the business is an associate fo the Geek Squad. Strange!
The address is from Bloomington, MN. Let's take a look at the address using the map application. Wow, the address looks like it's a parking lot. The closest business is a healthcare business.
To have a little fun and to check out what the scam was all about, I called the number listed on the email. A man answered the phone and asked how he could help me. I asked him if this was the Geek Squad, he said "Yes". I asked where he was located. He gave me his full address. It just happened to be in California and not Bloomington, MN. He asked me how he could help and if I had an invoice number for him. He knew why I was calling.
I gave him an invoice number of SUC8637K which did not match the invoice number on the email. He then explained that my subscription had renewed and if I wanted to cancel it, and get a refund, I would have to fill out a form online. Another red flag. If I had purchased the subscription, and this was actually Norton, he could have cancelled the order for me.
I was then asked if I had a computer and Google Chrome. I said, "Yes". The man then told me to type in the URL of http://www.tinyurl.com/norton/.... I did not finishing typing in the full URL. I asked him if he could just cancel this for me. He was adamant about having me fill out the form online. I knew what he was trying to do. This is when I asked him, "What if I told you a was a government agent investigating an email scam". It took him a split second to hang up.
Here is a screenshot of what comes up when going to http://www.tinyurl.com/norton/.
So what was the scam?
Phishing emails like this one are sent in hopes to lure people into contacting the scammer. What they are trying to do is get your bank account, credit card information and or access to your computer. They don't want to send a refund to you for something you never did purchase.
If you ever have questions about an email like this, feel free to call us for advice. NEVER give your bank, credit card or access to your computer to someone that you don't know and have not contacted first. If they are reaching out to you, it is more than likely a scam.
What could have happened?
Identity theft. If the scammer was able to get your bank or credit card information, they would have used it against you. How much money you would have lost is one thing. Think about having to change all of your accounts and personal information to prevent identity theft.
Computer access. If the scammer was able to access your computer, they may have installed spyware, adware, malware or even ransomware. This too could lead to identity theft or ransom demands.
Ransomware is a threat that prevents users from accessing their system or personal files and demands a ransom payment in order to regain access. You may have heard about this in the new recently.
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