Our fraud analyst team has learned that local customers have had fraudulent pop-ups or emails on their home computers notifying the customer they have been charged an annual subscription fee for Norton Security. The pop-up or email contains a phone number for the customer to call to dispute the charge and obtain a refund. When the customer calls to dispute the charge, the fake Norton Security representative asked the customer to download a program onto their computer as part of the process to obtain the refund. The customer is then asked to login to their online banking account so they can be assured of the credit for the refund by checking that the refund goes into their account.
The scammer then fakes panic that he/she has accidently refunded too much money to the customer and implores the customer to return the excess funds or “I will lose my job” The customer is then instructed to send the excess money back via Western Union or prepaid gift cards as the fake representative can only credit the customer’s account but not deduct from it.
If the customer follows through with all these instructions, they have now unknowingly downloaded malicious software to their computer, compromised their online banking username and password, conceded their banking account information, and have sent money to the criminals by Western Union or gift card.
To protect yourself from this type of scam:
- Ensure that your computer has a good virus protection software installed, and be sure to keep it up to date and run regular scans of your computer.
- Don’t click on any links in an email, pop-ups on your computer or ads on the web unless you are certain that they are valid.
- Don’t call phone numbers in any email you weren’t expecting. Do a search for the company that is allegedly reaching out to you, and call the number listed on their website instead.
- Never download anything onto your computer at the request of anyone over the phone.
- Legitimate businesses will not need you to log in to your online banking accounts while you are on the phone with them.
- Never send money via Western Union or a gift card to anyone unless you have a personal relationship with them and have confirmed by voice and detailed questions that they are your family or friend.
Scams are often very sophisticated and believable so it can be easy to be caught in them.
If you believe you may have disclosed such information to a scammer, please contact us at 800.541.0006 so we can assist with protecting your accounts and your identity.
Please also report the scams to the FTC website or by calling 877.382.4357. Fraud can also be reported to the FBI for law enforcement action.