Do not trust fake "McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged" websites

Also Known As: "McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged" pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged"?

"McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged" is a scam discovered by our researchers during a routine investigation of dubious websites. Comprising a fake system scan and multiple threat alerts, this scheme aims to deceive users into downloading/installing the promoted software.

It must be emphasized that this scam is not associated with the McAfee anti-virus or its developer – McAfee Corp.

McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged scam

"McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged" scam overview

Upon access, "McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged" displays a pop-up window claiming that the visitor's device is infected with thirty viruses. They have already caused 28.1% damage to the computer and may corrupt the hard disk and private information (e.g., contacts, photos, etc.). The viruses allegedly originated from recently visited adult-oriented websites.

The pop-up lists instructions for removing the infections. After the "Repair Now" button is pressed, the scheme runs a fake system scan that keeps detecting issues. The final threat report urges the user to use an anti-virus without delay.

As mentioned in the introduction, all this information is fake; in fact, no website can perform scans or detect threats/issues on visitors' devices. This scam is in no way associated with the actual McAfee Corp.

In most cases, schemes of this kind push fraudulent, unreliable, and even malicious software. Hence, by trusting this scam – users risk installing fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, PUAs, trojans, ransomware, or other malware onto their systems.

In some instances, deceptive pages redirect to the official websites of legitimate products or services. The motivation behind this is for the scammers to earn illegitimate commissions by abusing the endorsed content's affiliate programs. Note that there are no guarantees that a scam will continue leading to genuine sites. Instead, users may be redirected to imitator webpages that host unwanted or malicious software.

To summarize, victims of scams like "McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged" can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name "McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged" pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Visitor's computer is infected with multiple viruses.
Disguise McAfee
Related Domains renew-antivirus[.]com
Detection Names (renew-antivirus[.]com) Avira (Phishing), Combo Cleaner (Phishing), CyRadar (Malicious), Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Sophos (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (renew-antivirus[.]com)
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. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Similar scam examples

"McAfee - Your Computer Is Infected With Viruses", "Your Windows Subscription Has Expired", "Malicious Site Has Downloaded Infected Files To Your PC", and "CCLEANER AntiVirus License Has Expired" are just some examples of scams akin to "McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged".

False claims concerning system infections are also utilized by technical support scams, which are elaborate schemes involving fake helplines and remote access to victims' computers. Other widely used lures by online scams include those relating to outdated software, shipping issues, giveaways, product promotions, lotteries, etc.

Due to how prevalent deceptive/malicious content is on the Web and how well-disguised it can be – we highly recommend caution when browsing.

How did I open a scam website?

Deceptive webpages are primarily promoted via websites using rogue advertising networks, spam (e.g., emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, browser notifications, social media/ forum posts, etc.), typosquatting (misspelled URLs), intrusive ads, and adware.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

The Internet is rife with fraudulent and dangerous content that appears legitimate and innocuous. Hence, we strongly advise vigilance when browsing. Take note of URLs and enter them carefully.

Be selective about which webpages you allow to deliver browser notifications; do not enable suspicious ones to do so, and instead ignore or deny these requests (i.e., press "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

Do not use websites that offer pirated programs/media or other questionable services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.), as these webpages are typically monetized via rogue advertising networks.

Exercise caution with incoming emails and other messages; do not open attachments/links found in suspicious mail, as they can be harmful.

Download only from official/verified sources and treat installations with care (e.g., study terms and options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of additional apps, extensions, tools, etc.) – to prevent/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 Severely Damaged" pop-up:

Your computer is severely damaged by (30) viruses

We've noticed that your computer is 28.1% Damaged by (30) harmful viruses from recent adult sites. It will soon corrupt your hard disk and damage your contacts, photos, data, and applications.

4 minutes and 28 seconds

If you don't remove the virus now, it will cause serious damage to your computer. Here's what you need to do (step by step):

Step 1: Tap and install app for free on the App Store!

Step 2: Open the application to speed up and fix your browser now!

Repair Now

The appearance of "McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of McAfee - Your Computer Is Severely Damaged 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:
▼ 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. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

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:

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?

Essentially, pop-up scams are messages designed to deceive users into performing certain actions. For example, victims may be tricked into downloading/installing software, purchasing products, subscribing to services, calling fake support lines, making monetary transactions, disclosing private information, and so on.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Pop-up scams are used to generate revenue. Scammers may profit by promoting content (e.g., websites, software, products, services, etc.), obtaining funds through deception, selling or abusing sensitive information, proliferating malware, etc.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Pop-up scams are hosted on deceptive webpages. Most visitors enter them via attachments/links in spam (e.g., emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, social media posts, browser notifications, etc.) or redirects generated by sites employing rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, intrusive advertisements, and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan visited websites and detect deceptive/malicious pages. Therefore, should you enter such a site – you will be warned immediately, and further access to it will be denied.

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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.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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