Perhaps it is a sign of the economy but lately services that I had canceled months — even years — ago are mysteriously showing up on my credit card statements.

It started with Plimus (reseller partner of BugDigger) trying to charge my PayPal account under a credit card that had expired (fortunately) even though I had properly canceled my subscription (I have the confirmation email to prove it).

The one that really annoyed me was Symantec charging my American Express $70.69 for an annual renewal of their Anti-Virus software. Software I haven’t used in two years and is no where to be found on my computers! Symantec tries to brush this off as a courtesy service they provide for my own protection but it seems to me if the software is so smart to auto-renew, it should be smart enough to know that it is not actually installed (paradox duly noted). This is simply a transparent ploy to filch from “sleeping” consumers or — if you do catch them — up-sell their latest version of Norton 360. I used to consider Symantec a reputable company, these tactics should be beneath them.

Ever since credit card companies shortened their grace periods to cheat consumers out of millions in late fees, I’ve become extremely vigilant of charges on my credit card statements. Given the rise of identity theft, this is a good practice but don’t just check for fraudulent charges, keep tabs on those auto-renewals too. Print out your cancellation email or make a note for the following month on your calendar so you remember to double-check your next statement.

BTW if you have fallen victim of the Norton annual renewal charge, call the toll-free number on your statement or 877-294-5265 and insist they refund the charge as well as deactivate their auto-renewal for good.