What is McAfee Tollfree scam?
In most cases, technical support scams display fake pop-up messages/notifications claiming that a computer is infected with a virus (or multiple viruses) and encourage users to call the provided number to get help with removing those viruses.
Usually, scammers behind tech-support scams attempt to trick users into purchasing unnecessary or even fake software, paying for remote technical "support", or installing a remote administration tool that would allow them to access and control a computer.
These scams should be ignored - virus alerts or any other notifications on them are fake. It is important to mention that users do not visit technical support scam websites intentionally.
Most of them end up on these pages after clicking on some deceptive ad, visiting a shady website, or when they have some potentially unwanted application (PUA) installed on a browser or the operating system.
This technical support scam website runs a fake McAfee virus scan that shows a fake detections list with a number of detected security risks.
At the time of the research, this fake scanner detected five threats: "Win32/Hoax.Renox.HX", "Trojan IRC/Backor.Sd.FRV", "Adware.Win32.Look2me.ab", "Trojan.Qoologic - Key Logger", and "Trojan.Fakealert.356".
The main purpose of this scam is to trick unsuspecting visitors into believing that their computers are infected with various malicious programs and calling the +1-888-599-0338 number to get help with their removal.
As mentioned in the introduction, scammers behind tech-support scam websites monetize them by selling users some unnecessary software or services or use these pages to trick users into installing some remote access/administration tool (RAT), so they could access and control computers remotely.
In such cases, they use installed RAT to infect a computer with malicious, unwanted software (e.g., ransomware, Trojan, cryptocurrency miner) or steal personal information (e.g., credit card details, login credentials, bank account numbers, and so on).
In one way or another, tech-support scams can never be trusted, and numbers on them should never be called. It is important to mention that legitimate antivirus suites (in this case, McAfee Antivirus) are not related to these scams in any way.
Quite often, technical support scams and other untrustworthy websites are promoted through potentially unwanted applications that most users download and install on browsers, computers unknowingly. It is common that PUAs are designed to gather various data and (or) generate advertisements as well.
Some examples of details that PUAs collect are IP addresses, websites of visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations. In some cases, PUAs are designed to gather sensitive, confidential information (e.g., financial details, information related to login credentials) as well.
Also, PUAs can be designed to display coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up advertisements, or other ads. Usually, those ads are used to promote questionable websites. Sometimes those ads are used to distribute PUAs.
In such cases, they are designed to cause unwanted downloads or even installations by executing certain scripts.
|Name||McAfee Tollfree technical support scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Computer is infected with malware|
|Disguise||Virus alert from McAfee|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||+1-888-599-0338|
|Serving IP Address||22.214.171.124|
|Detection Names||BitDefender (Malware), ESET (Phishing), Kaspersky (Malware), SCUMWARE.org (Malware), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.|
|Distribution methods||Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
There are many examples of tech-support scams, some of them are "Code #007d3Cx0d", "Your System Detected Some Unusual Activity", "Microsoft Security Essentials Alert". In most cases, scammers disguise those fake notifications as legitimate notifications from Microsoft and other software developers (like McAfee).
Although, none of the legitimate companies or their websites have anything to do with these scams. It is worthwhile to mention when browsers open untrustworthy pages often (including tech-support scam pages), they are likely to have some potentially unwanted application installed on them.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
It is common that PUAs are distributed by including (integrating) them in downloaders and installers for other programs as additional offers. This distribution method is called "bundling".
Users download or install PUAs together with other programs when they do not untick checkboxes or leave settings like "Advanced", "Custom" that downloaders or installers bundled with those apps have.
In other words, when users do not decline offers to download or install bundled apps using the available download or installation options. Sometimes, users cause unwanted downloads or installations via deceptive advertisements - by clicking on ads that are designed to execute certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to download programs (or files) using official and trustworthy websites and direct links. Third-party downloaders (and installers), unofficial pages, various Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), can be used to distribute potentially malicious, unwanted applications.
It is also advisable to always check downloaders and installers for bundled applications and decline unwanted offers before finishing downloads and installations. One more important thing is not to click on ads that appear on questionable web pages.
It is common that those ads get displayed to promote untrustworthy websites or even to distribute PUAs. Unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons installed on a browser or programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be removed/uninstalled.
If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Appearance of the McAfee Tollfree scam (GIF):
Text presented in the main pop-up:
Mcafee Tollfree : + 1-888-599-0338
Your Computer on Risk Call: +1-888-599-0338
[+] Total items scanned: 2038
[+] Total security risks detected: 5
[+] Total security risks resolved: 0
Total security risks requiring attention: 5
Text in the second (background) pop-up:
Your Are Protected
Protection Updates: Current
Last Scan: Not available | Quick Scan
Licenses Used: 1 of 5 | Install on Another Device
Security Identity Performance More McAfee
Protected Protected Protected Protected
SUBSCRIPTION STATUS: 30 Days Remaining
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is McAfee Tollfree scam?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the mcafee tollfree technical support scam, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with mcafee tollfree technical support scam removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the mcafee tollfree technical support scam, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the mcafee tollfree technical support scam, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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