Do not trust websites claiming that the McAfee License has expired
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License"?
While inspecting untrustworthy websites, our researchers found the "Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License" scam.
Typically, deceptive content of this kind is used to push unreliable or malicious software. At the time of research, this scam redirected to the official website of McAfee. However, it must be emphasized that McAfee Corp. is in not associated with this scam.
"Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License" scam overview
The scam claims that the visitor's McAfee anti-virus has expired, and thus their device might be at risk. This message would be displayed regardless of whether the visiting user has McAfee installed onto their system or not.
The scam goes on to state that if a computer is left unprotected, it is at risk of various virus and malware infections - hence users can experience a variety of severe issues. On the surface level, the last statements are not untrue. However, this is not appropriate for software promotion.
Websites that alert visitors of possible threats or "detected" malware infections are usually used to endorse harmful content like adware, fake anti-virus tools, browser hijackers, PUAs, and in seldom cases - even malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.).
When we inspected "Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License", it promised a discount an up to a 70% discount on the product and redirected to the legitimate McAfee anti-virus site. Scammers behind such schemes aim to obtain commissions for promoting genuine products by abusing their affiliate programs and using deceptive techniques to trick users. Hence, the advertised discount is likely fake.
Furthermore, it must be stressed that this misleading endorsement was undertaken without McAfee's knowledge or approval.
It is noteworthy that there are no guarantees that this scam will continue to redirect to McAfee's official website; therefore, users may download/install harmful apps disguised as this anti-virus.
To summarize, through scams like "Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License" - users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. We strongly advise always researching software and downloading it only from official and verified sources.
|Name||Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License scam website|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||McAfee anti-virus' license has expired.|
|Related Domains||programmableblock[.]store, preconditionshield[.]shop|
|Detection Names (programmableblock[.]store)||Netcraft (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (programmableblock[.]store)||22.214.171.124|
|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.
Similar scam examples
We have analyzed countless online scams; "MICROSOFT WINDOWS With Pre-installed Mcafee", "Your Computer Might Be Infected With Critical Viruses", and "Mcafee - Security Warning" are just a couple examples of those akin to "Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License".
The Internet is rife with deceptive and malicious material. Therefore, we highly recommend exercising caution when browsing.
How did I open a scam website?
Scam websites can be accessed through pages using rogue advertising networks - either immediately upon access or when hosted content is interacted with (e.g., clicking links, buttons, ads, etc.). Adware can also display advertisements promoting scams or force-open their sites.
Intrusive advertisements and spam browser notifications endorse online scams as well. Additionally, mistyping a URL can result in a redirect leading to a deceptive webpage.
How to avoid visiting scam websites?
Online scams are primarily accessed via redirects caused by sites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, or installed adware.
We advise against visiting websites that offer pirated content or other questionable services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.) - since they are typically monetized through rogue advertising networks. Additionally, we recommend being careful when typing URLs.
To avoid receiving undesirable browser notifications - do not permit suspicious sites to display them (i.e., do not click "Allow", "Allow Notifications", etc.). Instead, ignore or deny notification delivery requests (i.e., click "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).
We also advised downloading only from official/verified channels and approaching installation with caution (e.g., using the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out of all additions, etc.) - to prevent untrustworthy software from infiltrating the system.
If your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate all threats.
Text presented in "Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License" scam:
Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License
Without McAfee Antivirus, Your Computer May Be At Risk!
If your PC is unprotected, it is at risk for viruses and other malware . After the expiry date passes, viruses may infect your computer, malicious malware might be installed, or your identity may be stolen.
You are eligible for UP TO 70% OFF
The appearance of "Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License" pop-up scam (GIF):
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 Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License scam website?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
How to identify a pop-up scam?
Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.
While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.
Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:
- Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
- Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
- Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
- Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
- Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.
Example of a pop-up scam:
How do pop-up scams work?
Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.
Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.
How to remove fake pop-ups?
In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.
In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.
How to prevent fake pop-ups?
To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.
To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.
- If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
- If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
- If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
- Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a pop-up scam?
Pop-up scams are deceptive messages designed to trick users into performing specific actions, e.g., downloading/installing and/or purchasing software, disclosing private information, making monetary transactions, calling fake helplines, and so on.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Pop-up scams are designed to generate profit. For example, scammers can profit by acquiring commissions for software promotion, proliferating malware, abusing or selling private data, and so forth.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pop-up scams are promoted on deceptive websites. Users typically access such pages through redirects caused by mistyped URLs, sites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner is designed to scan every single website you visit, and it is capable of detecting deceptive and malicious ones. Therefore, you will be warned immediately, and further access will be blocked.
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