12 McAfee Scams to Watch Out For

mcafee scams

Can You Get Scammed From a Computer Security Software Company Like McAfee?

Getting scammed by the official McAfee company is quite unlikely. However, there are many scammers who try to take advantage of the well-known McAfee name. Scammers trick people and gain access to their money or personal information using malicious software.

Top McAfee Scams Every Small Business Owner Should Know

Like other popular antivirus programs, McAfee is a target for scammers who specialize in identity theft. Here are some of the most common scams related to McAfee that small business owners should be aware of:

1. McAfee Phishing Scams

Phishing emails are one of the most common types of scams. For this phishing scam, fake email messages are sent by a scammer who poses as a legitimate company. They send phishing emails to try and trick you into clicking suspicious links to a fake company website and giving them your personal information or money.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.
  • Verify the authenticity of the email by checking the sender’s address.
  • Use McAfee’s official website for any subscription-related actions.

McAfee Scams to Watch Out For

2. McAfee Pop-Ups Scam

Another common scam is fake pop-ups that claim to be from McAfee. These pop-ups usually contain a virus or will install malware that can infect your computer if you click on them. So, be very careful when you see any pop-ups on your computer, even if they claim to be from a reputable company like McAfee.

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How to Stay Safe:

  • Do not click on unsolicited pop-ups, even if they appear to be from McAfee.
  • Keep your browser and antivirus software updated to block malicious pop-ups.
  • Use pop-up blockers and avoid visiting untrusted websites.

3. McAfee Scam Emails

Scam emails are another way that scammers try to trick you into giving them your personal information. These fake emails often contain official-looking offers or deals that seem too good to be true. So, be very careful when you receive any emails claiming to be from McAfee.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Be skeptical of emails with offers or deals that seem too good to be true.
  • Look for inconsistencies in the email content, such as spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Always verify offers by visiting McAfee’s official website.

McAfee Scams to Watch Out For

4. McAfee Renewal Scam

The McAfee renewal scam is when scammers contact you and try to trick you into renewing your McAfee subscription. They do this by providing fake invoices and offering a special deal or a discount on the renewal price. However, if you give them your login credentials or credit card information, they will actually bill you for a much higher amount than what you were originally quoted.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Renew your subscription directly through the official McAfee website or authorized retailers.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited calls or emails offering renewal deals.
  • Do not provide credit card information over the phone to unknown callers.

5. McAfee Antivirus Plus Scam

For this scam, scammers contact you and try to sell you a fake version of McAfee’s Antivirus Plus program. They may even send you an email with a link to download the program. However, this program is actually a virus that can infect your computer.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Purchase McAfee products only from the official website or authorized retailers.
  • Be wary of emails or websites offering discounted McAfee software.
  • Verify the authenticity of the software before downloading.

6. McAfee Tech Support Scam

First things first, McAfee tech support will never call you unless you’ve contacted them first. So, if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from McAfee tech support, it’s a scam. These scammers will try to get you to give them remote access to your computer so they can install a virus or steal sensitive information.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Remember that McAfee’s official tech support will not contact you unless requested.
  • Do not grant remote access to your computer to unsolicited callers.
  • If in doubt, contact McAfee’s official support for verification.

McAfee Scams to Watch Out For

7. McAfee Fake Virus Scan Scam

This is a scam where scammers create a fake virus scan and claim that your computer is infected with a virus. They will then try to sell you a fake antivirus program to remove the supposed virus so you no longer have your computer “infected.”

How to Stay Safe:

  • Do not trust unsolicited virus scan alerts, especially from unknown sources.
  • Use McAfee’s official antivirus tools for scanning your computer.
  • Avoid downloading software from pop-up alerts or unfamiliar websites.

8. McAfee Free Trial Scam

The McAfee free trial scam is when scammers offer you a free trial of their fake antivirus program. However, once the trial is up, they will bill you for the full price of the program, which is usually a lot more than what you would pay for a legitimate antivirus program.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Sign up for free trials only through the official McAfee website.
  • Read the terms and conditions of any free trial offer carefully.
  • Be cautious of providing payment details for a free trial offer.

McAfee Scams to Watch Out For

9. McAfee Subscription Cancellation Scam

This scam involves fraudsters contacting McAfee users, claiming that their subscription is about to be automatically renewed, and offering to cancel it for a fee. The scammer may ask for remote access to your computer to “assist” with the cancellation, during which they install malware or steal sensitive information.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Never give remote access to your computer to unsolicited callers.
  • If you receive a call about your McAfee subscription, verify its legitimacy by contacting McAfee directly through their official website.
  • Be aware that legitimate companies like McAfee will not charge you to cancel a subscription.

10. McAfee Refund Scam

In this scam, you might receive an email or call claiming that you are eligible for a refund from McAfee. The scammers will ask for bank details to process the supposed refund, but instead, they use this information to steal money from your account.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Be skeptical of unsolicited refund offers.
  • Never share your banking details over email or phone with someone claiming to be from McAfee.
  • Verify any refund claims by contacting McAfee through their official channels.

11. Fake McAfee Job Offer Scam

Scammers posing as McAfee HR representatives offer fake job opportunities. They may ask for personal information or money for “training” or “equipment” as part of the hiring process.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Verify the job offer by contacting McAfee directly through their official website.
  • Remember, legitimate companies will not ask for money during the hiring process.
  • Be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true, especially if you did not apply for the job.

12. McAfee Mobile App Scam

Cybercriminals create fake McAfee mobile apps and upload them to app stores. Once downloaded, these apps can infect your device with malware or steal personal data.

How to Stay Safe:

  • Always download apps from official and reputable app stores.
  • Check reviews and ratings before downloading any app.
  • Look for inconsistencies in the app’s description and avoid apps with poor grammar or spelling.

How to Avoid a McAfee Scam

McAfee antivirus software is a popular choice for computer protection, but cybercriminals are now using McAfee branding to scam people. Here are five tips to avoid phishing scams that use the McAfee name and protect your bank account:

  • Check the URL before you click. Cybercriminals will often create fake websites that look like legitimate companies in order to phish for your personal information. Before you click on any links, check to make sure the URL is correct.
  • Grammatical errors. Another way to spot a fake website is to look for grammatical errors. Many scammers are not native English speakers, so they may make mistakes in their grammar.
  • Sender’s address. Be cautious of any emails that come from a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo. These are more likely to be scams.
  • Hover over links. Before you click on any links in an email, hover your mouse over the link to see where it will take you. If the URL looks suspicious, don’t click on it.
  • Call the company. If you’re unsure whether an email or website is legitimate, call the company to verify. Don’t use the contact information in the email, look for the company’s contact information on their website.
Check the URL before you clickVerify the authenticity of URLs before clicking on them to prevent falling victim to fake websites and phishing attempts.
Grammatical errorsIdentify potential scams by examining the grammar in communications. Scammers often make grammatical mistakes due to language barriers.
Sender's addressExercise caution with emails from free email services like Gmail or Yahoo, as they are commonly used by scammers.
Hover over linksHover your mouse cursor over links in emails to preview the actual destination URL. If it seems suspicious, avoid clicking on it to prevent malware installation.
Call the companyWhen in doubt about an email or website's legitimacy, contact the company directly using official contact details from their website to verify the information.

Why Do You Keep Getting Fake McAfee Emails?

Spam filters are not perfect, and sometimes fake emails slip through. If you keep getting fake McAfee emails, it’s likely because your email address is on a list that is being sold to scammers. You can try to block the sender, but it’s likely that they will just use a different email address. The best thing you can do is to delete the email and mark it as spam.

Is the McAfee Renewal Email Asking for Credit Card Details a Phishing Scam?

The McAfee Renewal email is a phishing scam. The email asks you to update your credit card payment information and renew your subscription. However, the email is not from McAfee, and clicking on the link will take you to a fake website where your personal information can be stolen.

Where Do You Report McAfee Scams?

If you have been the victim of a McAfee scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can also report the scam to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) if you have lost money or personal information as a result of the scam. Finally, you can report the scam to McAfee’s Anti-Spam Abuse department.

Can You Get Your Money Back From a McAfee Scam?

It is possible to get your money back if you have been scammed by a fake McAfee website. If you have paid with a credit card, you can contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. You will need to provide them with the date of the transaction, the name of the company, and the amount you were charged. If you have paid by wire transfer, it is unlikely that you will be able to get your money back. You can report the scam to the IC3, but they will only be able to help if the scammer is based in the United States.

Protecting Yourself from McAfee Scams: Tips and Actions

As a vigilant McAfee subscription customer, safeguarding your computer and personal information is paramount. In the digital landscape, scams abound, and being aware of potential threats is crucial. Here are valuable insights to help you stay secure and outsmart scammers:

Be Wary of Suspicious URLs: Before clicking on any links, examine the URL closely. Cybercriminals often create fake websites resembling legitimate companies. Verify the URL’s authenticity to avoid falling prey to phishing attempts.

Spot Grammatical Errors: Scammers might exhibit poor grammar in their communications due to language barriers. If an email or website displays glaring grammatical mistakes, exercise caution as it could be a fraudulent attempt.

Evaluate Sender’s Address: Scammers frequently use free email services like Gmail or Yahoo. Emails from such addresses should raise a red flag. Be skeptical of emails originating from suspicious sources.

Hover over Links: Hover your mouse cursor over links in emails before clicking them. This action reveals the actual URL destination. If the link appears suspicious, refrain from clicking to prevent potential malware installation.

Contact the Company Directly: When in doubt about an email’s legitimacy, contact the company through official channels. Do not use contact information provided in the suspicious email. Seek out the company’s contact details on their official website for verification.

Report Fake Emails and Scams: If you encounter a fake McAfee email or fall victim to a scam, promptly report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), especially if you’ve suffered financial losses or personal information compromise.

Responding to McAfee Renewal Emails: Beware of McAfee renewal emails asking for credit card details; these are phishing scams. Authentic McAfee renewal communications would never solicit sensitive information via email. Always verify the legitimacy of such requests through official channels.

Recovering from Scams: In the unfortunate event of falling victim to a McAfee scam, take immediate action. If payments were made via credit card, contact your credit card company to dispute charges. For wire transfers, recovery options may be limited. Reporting the scam to the IC3 can help if the scammer operates within the United States.

Educating Yourself is Key: Staying informed about scams and developing a strong sense of digital security is essential. Keep up-to-date with the latest scam tactics and learn to recognize red flags to bolster your defenses against scammers.

By following these precautions and remaining vigilant, you can protect yourself from falling victim to McAfee-related scams and other malicious activities. A proactive stance combined with informed decision-making empowers you to navigate the digital world with confidence and security.


As a McAfee subscription customer, arming yourself with knowledge about prevalent scams is your first line of defense against cyber threats. In this comprehensive exploration of McAfee-related scams, you’ve gained a deep understanding of the tactics scammers employ to exploit your trust and steal your sensitive information. By staying informed and practicing vigilance, you can effectively safeguard your computer and personal data.

Remember, while scams targeting McAfee users may be prevalent, they are not insurmountable. By implementing the recommended security measures, such as verifying URLs, scrutinizing sender addresses, and staying cautious of phishing attempts, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to these scams.

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybercrime, knowledge is your greatest ally. Educate yourself, stay alert, and leverage the available resources to report scams promptly. Through your proactive efforts, you not only protect yourself but also contribute to a safer digital environment for everyone.

As technology advances, so do the strategies of cybercriminals. However, armed with the insights and precautions provided in this article, you are well-equipped to navigate the digital realm with confidence, resilience, and the ability to thwart even the most sophisticated scams. Stay informed, stay cautious, and stay secure.

Image: Depositphotos

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Kevin Ocasio Kevin Ocasio is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, United States Marine Corps veteran, serial entrepreneur, and certified digital marketer, who writes for various online publications including his own Grind Boss blog.

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