Some independent security software affiliates are scamming people by sending emails with the false message that their antivirus is expiring and renew their license, whereby if the user does so, they can earn a commission.
A software affiliate program is a marketing technique in which the affiliate recommends the software to customers or visitors and earns a commission on each purchase. Now, these programs have strict rules and guidelines to protect their software and customers from false advertising and being tricked into buying.
BleepingComputer discovered this scam last week when two of their seniors reported it. The mails tell the users that their Norton and McAfee antivirus software is expiring, the very day and to renew their license.
The scam starts with emails containing a subject similar to “WARNING: Anti-Virus Can Expire ” Sun, 26 Apr 2020″, which includes a link stating, “Your Protection Can Expire TODAY!”, writes BleepingComputer in their blog.
If the link in the mail is clicked, it takes the user DigitalRiver affiliate network, and after dropping a tracking cookie, redirects the user to the purchase page of Norton or McAfee antivirus. If it goes smoothly and the user purchased the software, the affiliate party would get a $10 commission or 20% of the total sale. For this particular scam, they earned around $10 per transaction.
How to protect yourself from these scams
Most antivirus usually notifies their customers of the expiry date via a notification from the software. If that’s the case, you can rest assure that it is legitimate and go ahead with the renewal.
But unfortunately, some companies email their users to remind the customer about the expiring article. A simple way to check their authenticity is to look for the name of your antivirus.
Since these rogue fake mails are sent in bulk they probably don’t know which software you’re using.
The next step is to open your antivirus software and check when the software is expiring. Even if it is expiring, it’s better to renew it from their website then to rely on these links from the mail.