FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

How to remove applications used to promote McAfee Tollfree scam?

Also Known As: McAfee Tollfree technical support scam
Damage level: Medium

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.

McAfee Tollfree technical support scam

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.

Threat Summary:
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
Related Domain hybrid222[.]ml
Serving IP Address 172.67.183.57
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.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available.

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):

mcafee tollfree pop-up scam appearance

Text presented in the main pop-up:

Mcafee Tollfree : + 1-888-599-0338

Your Computer on Risk Call: +1-888-599-0338

Results Summary
[+] Total items scanned: 2038
[+] Total security risks detected: 5
[+] Total security risks resolved: 0
Total security risks requiring attention: 5
[Pause] [Stop]

Text in the second (background) pop-up:

Mcafee AntiVirus

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

PUAs uninstall via Control Panel

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:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

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 Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (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.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

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, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

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 Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove mcafee tollfree technical support scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on mcafee tollfree technical support scam or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

Click to post a comment

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
McAfee Tollfree technical support scam QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of McAfee Tollfree technical support scam on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available.