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Beware of the McAfee Scam

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Did you receive an unsolicited email from McAfee indicating that your subscription has been renewed? Be very careful, it is likely a scam. McAfee has been a popular computer virus protection program for a long time, and scammers know that many people use or have used McAfee software in the past. By impersonating a well-known company such as McAfee, scammers can trick consumers into believing that they received a legitimate email from a reputable business.

Sample of the McAfee Email Scam

Here is an example of a McAfee scam email:

Subject: McAfee System Update


Thank You for choosing McAfee. We are glad that you choose us and we would like to inform you that you are charged with the amount of $266.99. The deduction of the amount will be reflected in your statement in the next 24 hrs.

If you have any query or issue with the services, you can call us at +1 (747)-3xx-4xxx and talk to our customer service.

Invoice Number –DGTRxxxxxx657HF Amount - $266.99

Quantity – 1

Validity- 2.5 Years

If you wish to cancel or stop the services you can also call us at +1 (747) 2xx-3xxx. and our customer service executive will help you out with the refund of the amount into your account.

Thank You.

There is no shortage of variation in the McAfee scam, so the wording of the email scam that you receive could be very different. Another example is:

Subject: Awesome! Your security invoice!

Dear customer,

Your Mc cafee security has been successfully renewed.

You have been charged 489.99 USD for your subscription.

Payment method: Online

Cost: $489.99

Order Id: Cafee_#2545xxxxx02

Order status: Delivered

Invoice method: Auto renewed

*This is a system generated invoice for your subscription of mc cafee*

*The amount charged will deducted & reflect on your bank statement in the next 24 hours.*

Note: If you have any query or you want to cancel/complain about your subscription feel free to call us on our helpdesk number, (9x6) xx2 – 5xx6

How the McAfee Email Scam Works

The high charge amount and the phone number for cancellation or help are there to play on your emotions. It is natural for people to get upset by the high charge that they did not expect, and then some people will call the phone number because they are acting based on their emotions. If that happens to you, then the scammers will try to steal your information or possibly seek remote access to your computer. This scam can cost you a lot of money, and many people have lost thousands of dollars by granting remote access to these cyber criminals.

What to Do If You Receive the McAfee Scam Email

The Federal Trade Commission offers some good advice regarding how to protect yourself from these types of scams and suggestions for what to do if you shared personal information or granted the scammers access to your system. Visit the FTC website at:

Be able to spot the scam by looking for any signals that the email might be fake. Signs of the McAfee scam and similar scams might be an email address that is not actually from McAfee (Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, Hotmail and many other free email account addresses are frequently used by scammers), potential grammatical errors such as misspelled words, impersonal words such as “dear subscriber” or “dear customer”, and anything else that could possibly seem suspicious. The scammers are getting more sophisticated, so you need to be vigilant in guarding against these types of scams.

McAfee is not alone. To read more about a similar scam involving Norton Antivirus, read our related Norton Antivirus Scam blog. To learn more about common scams, you can access additional articles on the Guide Change blog. If you would like to share a story about a scam that you have encountered, feel free to email us at [Note that comments for our blogs are now disabled because scammers can leave comments.]

1 Comment

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Aug 23, 2022

I just received a phone call claiming to be from Amazon wanting to speak to me about a payment I just made for an Apple Macbook. They said they needed more information. The giveaway was the caller ID did not show "Amazon" but a company name I had not heard of.

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