What kind of scam is "McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses"?
During a routine investigation of suspicious sites, our research team found the "McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses" scam. This scheme is presented as content from McAfee; it discovers viruses on visitors' computers and urges their removal.
It must be stressed that these claims are false. Typically, scams of this kind are used to promote unreliable and potentially dangerous software.
"McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses" scam overview
When we accessed a webpage running this scam, it performed a fake system scan. Throughout this bogus process, threat detection alerts kept popping up. Following the scan's completion, a pop-up window overlaid the page. This window stated that the visitor's device is infected and encouraged them to initiate the cleanup process.
As mentioned in the introduction, all the information provided by this scheme is false. While the scam is full of McAfee's graphics, it is not associated with this anti-virus or its developer – McAfee Corp. It is also worth mentioning that no website can scan visitors' systems or detect threats.
In most cases, scams of this kind endorse fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and various PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) – under the guise of useful tools. We have even found instances of these schemes proliferating trojans, ransomware, and other malware.
Scams may redirect users to official websites of genuine products or services. This is due to the scammers seeking illegitimate commissions through the abuse of the endorsed content's affiliate programs. However, there are no guarantees that a scheme will continue redirecting to legitimate sites. It is pertinent to mention that scams may also promote impersonator pages that closely mimic genuine websites.
To summarize, victims of scams like "McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses" can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|"McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses" scam website
|Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
|Viruses were detected on the user's computer.
|Detection Names (topsecurity2024[.]com)
|Combo Cleaner (Malware), CyRadar (Malicious), ESET (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|Serving IP Address (topsecurity2024[.]com)
|Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
|Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
|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 thousands of online scams; "Your Windows Subscription Has Expired", "Malicious Site Has Downloaded Infected Files To Your PC", "CCLEANER AntiVirus License Has Expired", and "Malwarebytes - Your PC Is Infected With 5 Viruses!" are merely a few examples of ones similar to "McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses".
Aside from scams centering on infections, other commonly used false claims include ones relating to outdated software, shipping issues, product promotions, giveaways, lotteries, etc. The purpose of all scams is to generate revenue for their designers.
Due to how prevalent deceptive/malicious content is on the Web and how well-made it can be – we strongly advise caution while browsing.
How did I open a scam website?
Online scams are primarily promoted through links/attachments in spam (e.g., emails, social media posts, PMs/DMs, browser notifications, etc.) and redirects generated by websites utilizing rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, mistyped URLs (typosquatting), and adware.
How to avoid visiting scam websites?
Fake and dangerous online content usually appears genuine and harmless – therefore, we recommend being careful while browsing. For example, intrusive advertisements and spam browser notifications may look innocuous – yet redirect users to questionable sites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, pornography, etc.).
To avoid receiving undesirable browser notifications – be selective about which webpages you permit to display them. Suspicious pages must not be allowed to deliver these ads (i.e., do not click "Allow", "Allow Notifications", etc.) – instead, ignore or deny their notification requests (i.e., press "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).
Another recommendation is to pay attention to URLs and enter them carefully. We advise against using websites that offer pirated programs/media or other dubious services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.), as these webpages typically use rogue advertising networks. Be vigilant with incoming emails/messages, and do not open attachments or links found in suspect mail.
We also advise downloading from official/trustworthy sources and treating installations with care (e.g., reading terms, exploring options, using "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of additional apps, extensions, etc.) – to prevent bundled/hazardous 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 "McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses" scam pop-up:
Your computer is infected with viruses.
Clean Up is highly recommended.
The appearance of "McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses" pop-up scam (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses" 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 messages that aim to deceive users into performing specific actions. To elaborate, victims may be lured into downloading/installing software, purchasing products, calling fake support lines, allowing cyber criminals to access devices remotely, disclosing sensitive information, making monetary transactions, and so forth.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
The purpose of pop-up scams is to generate revenue for their designers. Cyber criminals profit primarily by obtaining funds through deception, promoting content (e.g., sites, software, services, etc.), selling/abusing private data, and spreading malware.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pop-up scams are promoted on deceptive webpages. Most visitors access them through redirects caused by sites utilizing rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware. Other types of spam, such as emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, social media/ forum posts, etc. – are also used to endorse scams.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner can scan visited websites and detect rogue, deceptive, and malicious ones. Hence, should you enter such a site – you will be warned immediately, and further access to it will be blocked.