The scam, in question, is going on longer than a decade just because people are too gullible and are taking a beating, too embarrassed to report to the right authorities who can protect them from such random frauds.
McAfee Antivirus scams work in quite the similar way as other scams, and the motive also remains the same — to bankrupt you for their own gains, or to steal your identity and personal information to use against you in the future. No matter what, the objectives are malicious.
Senior citizens (older people) and those who are not so tech-savvy are soft targets of these scammers who can easily take them for a ride, misleading them into clicking on fraud links that transfer huge amounts into their (scammers) accounts.
Let us walk you through what the scam is all about, how it works, how to stay protected from such scams, and who to report these scams to. Read on.
What is This McAfee Antivirus Scam? How Does It Work?
The scammers will typically send you an email that will read that they are charging you for McAfee security software. The charging amount mentioned is astronomical too — way higher than what the original software would cost you. You are totally at a loss because you do not remember making any such purchase. And you are right. It’s a scam, where they intended to stump you!
On the face of it, everything looks fine unless you pay closer attention. The email will contain an order number with a long letter and number configuration, an activation code, an activation date, and amount paid categories mentioned. They will also leave you a number (which in reality does not belong to the McAfee Customer Support team).
When you call on the number provided, and tell them that you were not expecting any such order subscription/renewal letter, they will offer to cancel the subscription for you. They will insist that you type in a URL (never the original McAfee one), and click on a random link they mention to cancel your order and make a refund request. In other cases, they might ask you to download a software (attempt to install a malware and compromise your system, or to gain remote access to your system).
How to Stay Safe?
The dead giveaways are — no McAfee employee will ever call you unsolicited. They will never request you to share sensitive information via email, phone, or text messages. Scam emails use unofficial and personal email IDs (like Gmail). The format and syntax could be full of errors and mistakes.
The guy on the phone will not have an authentic accent. They are also most likely to use fake names to sound real. Always enter your credentials on the official McAfee page if you must; never trust emails from unverified sources.
Stop before you click on any random link or download any attachment. These may contain viruses that will attack your system, and give the scammers unauthorized access to your computer. If you fall into their trap, your system gets locked and hijacked. Ignore these emailers/callers. Do not call back; block the number right away.
Here are 3 Ways to Report McAfee Antivirus Scam
1) Report To McAfee Customer Support — Scams must first be reported to the organization that the scammer impersonated (in this case McAfee). Click on the link here to access a web form to report the incident in detail. Please attach any document (like screenshots of the scam email) you can to assist them in investigating the matter for you, and forwarding the same to the concerned law enforcement agency.
Alternatively, you can call at their listed numbers, or chat with their customer service agent who can offer guided solutions to your problem. Forward all suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org for the officers to look into and take necessary action.
2) Report To Federal Trade Commission — The Federal Trade Commission, or the FTC, is the authorized government body to handle all scam reports, investigate from all possible angles, and draw closure to the case by nabbing the culprits. They also work with other agencies to educate and inform the public from time to time via campaign programs to protect them from such scams. You can click here and scroll to the relevant section to file and submit your report.
3) Report to Your State Attorney General — A state attorney general is the chief legal officer in their jurisdiction, and works in the public interest. They are public advocates and functionaries who protect the consumers against scams and frauds. You can even report the scam to your state attorney general online. Wait patiently for someone from their office to contact you.