Beware of the McAfee Subscription Renewal Email Scam

Scam alert

I believe you stumbled upon this blog post because you have received an email with the subject line, "Thank you for your purchase or subscription! That looks like it was sent from McAfee, an American global computer security software company. The email claims "your subscription with McAfee Security will auto-renew or has been auto-renewed and your account is about to be debited or has been debited." At the end of the email, a specific phone number is provided for you to call, so you can cancel the order if you didn’t authorize it.

DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER or else you will fall victim to a scam! This is a common type of phishing email designed to deceive you into contacting a fraudulent phone number, typically operated by a scammer or group of scammers, under the false pretense of canceling a nonexistent subscription.

I have received several of these emails, even though I don't have an account with McAfee. Below is a sample of one I received recently:

"Dear User,

Your Subscription with McAfee Security will Auto Renew Today and USD 215.31 is about to be debited from your account by Today.The Debited Amount will be reflected within sthe next 24 Hrs in your statement. In case of any further clarifications or block the auto-renewal service please reach out Customer Help Center. 

Order ID: 915487258

Invoice Number: EDSFCGV376389 

Description Quantity Unit Price Total McAfee Service (One Year Subscription)   

Subtotal  $ 215.31

Sales Tax $ 0.00

Total  $ 215.31

If you didn’t authorize this Charge or want to cancel this order? To cancel & get an instant refund of your annual subscription,

please contact our customer care :  +1 (877) 993-6488

Thanks and regards,

McAfee"

If you receive such an email, please do not contact the provided customer care line. It is a scammer's number. Additionally, do not click on any links or open any attachments because they may install malware on your computer, which can be used to monitor and control your online activities. The safest course of action is to delete the email without opening any files, calling any phone numbers, or clicking on any links provided within.

How To Identify McAfee Scam Renewal Emails

The top five ways to confirm if a McAfee renewal notice is fraudulent include:
  1. The email was sent from a domain not associated with McAfee (i.e., @gmail.com or @yahoo.com) instead of @mcafee.com.
  2. The sender uses generic greetings like "Dear McAfee user" or simply "Dear user" instead of your name.
  3. The message urgently says your subscription has expired and your credit or debit card has been charged.
  4. The message encourages you to take immediate action.
  5. An unfamiliar number is provided for you to call.

What Happens if You Call The Provided Number?

If you call the number in the scam message, you will reach a fraudulent "support" call center where a scammer posing as a McAfee agent will:
  • Warn you of serious issues detected on your device
  • Have you download dangerous malware onto your computer
  • Gain remote access to fix non-existent issues
  • Insist on payment for their "expert" services
If you want to share that you have received a similar email or think you may have fallen victim to this scam, contact your state Department of Justice or McAfee Customer Service.
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