How to Identify and Stop Fake McAfee Popups in Windows?

What is the McAfee Virus Pop-Up Scam?

The fake McAfee popups show up on Windows after the user allows notifications of a scam or fraudulent website on their browser. The popups have the McAfee logo and name, and they keep appearing regularly after every 10-15 minutes without any stop.

Most often, the popups will be related to threats, alerts, and renewals. Many of them read:

  1. Virus Detected
  2. Your McAfee has expired
  3. System is at risk of virus attacks
  4. Critical Virus Alert
  5. Your PC is infected with 5 virus

There are a lot more similar prompts, and all of them require you to take an action. Once you do that, it will take you to a fake website that will be a clone of the original one. There, the users will have the option to fill out a form to remove the virus or renew their accounts.

Here, scammers can take your email, credit card number, bank account number, or other sensitive details. Therefore, it’s necessary to avoid these sites and block their notifications and prompts for good. Similarly, you can use the Ad-Block extension on Chrome for further protection.

How to Stop these Fake McAfee Popups?

Below, I’ll mention the steps for both of these methods. Moreover, there will be a section about how one can identify and get saved from this online fraud.

1. Block the Website’s Notifications and Popups

Whenever fake McAfee popups show up, there will be a website URL written on the prompt from where they appeared. The goal is to block the popups and notifications from that particular website to avoid any scams in the future.

There’s also an option to stop getting notifications and popups from every website. However, I wouldn’t recommend that, as some people do want to get updates from important sites.

Moreover, this process is not limited to Chrome alone. You can disable notifications and popups on any browser, though the steps would differ.

Anyway, here are the steps for Google Chrome:

  1. Start Chrome and click on the three-dotted menu on the top-right.
  2. Click on Settings.

  1. Click on Privacy & Security.
  2. Select Site Settings under the Content section.

  1. Scroll down and click on Notifications under the Permissions section.

  1. Go through the “Allowed to send notifications” section and recognize the site that was sending the fake pop-ups.
  2. Select the three dots next to it and click on Block.

  1. Now you’ll stop receiving any notifications from that website.

After blocking the notifications, follow the steps below to stop the fake McAfee popups:

  1. Go to Site Settings again.
  2. Click on Pop-ups and redirects under the Content section.

  1. Under the Customized Behavior section, there will be a “Not allowed to send pop-ups or use redirects” option.
  2. Click on Add.
  3. Now type the URL of the website you want to block popups from.

  1. Again, click on Add.

Here, you’ve successfully blocked both the notifications and popups from the fraudulent website. If there’s more than one site, then block them by following the same steps.

2. Use the Ad-Block Extension on your Browser

The Ad-Block extension, as evident by its name, will stop every irrelevant popup or prompt from showing up. It’s a great tool to have on Chrome as it efficiently saves users from potential scams.

You can find multiple ad blockers in the Chrome store, but I suggest “AdBlock” to work with. I have personally used it, and it’s highly reliable in doing its job.

Here’s how to add the AdBlock extension to Chrome:

  1. Go to the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Type AdBlock on the search bar.
  3. Click on AdBlock – best ad blocker from the search result.
  4. Click on Add to Chrome.
  5. Select Add Extension.

  1. Now wait for the installation.
  2. Once done, click on the Puzzle icon and select Ad-Block.

  1. Go through its settings and adjust them accordingly.
  2. Save the changes to stop getting fake McAfee popups from any website.

How to Identify Fake McAfee Popups?

Cybercriminals will make the popups appear as if they are real, and someone who doesn’t know the difference between a genuine and fake McAfee popup will fall for their trap.

The scam website generally asks the user to allow notifications in two ways. The first category doesn’t require you to fill out the captcha, while the second one does. If you don’t, the page doesn’t proceed further. And therefore, the website that falls into the second category will be a fake one more often than not.

Now, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to identifying false prompts, but a few indications will help you in the cause.

  1. The popup has no information and there’s only the McAfee name and logo.
  2. The popups have bad grammar or spelling errors. For instance: Renew now to stay protected for your PC.
  3. The images and logo on the prompt are either low quality or badly scaled.
  4. The popup contains a URL that isn’t from the official McAfee website (
  5. The popup appears even if you haven’t installed McAfee.
  6. The dialog boxes of some VPNs and anti-viruses appear alongside McAfee, and all of them lead to the same website.

This list should be enough to keep you aware of this online scam. As soon as the fake McAfee popups start appearing, make sure to stop them with the two recommended methods.

What to do if you Fall for McAfee Pop-ups Scam?

This depends on the severity of the scam. If you’ve disclosed all of your personal information, then you might have a hard time retrieving it, but it’s not impossible. Contrarily, if only your email address was shared, then you’d only get some phishing emails that could be marked as spam.

In case you entered your credit or debit card number, then contact the bank immediately and ask them to freeze it. Similarly, if you made any payment to renew your McAfee account or subscribe to any other service, then contact your bank again and ask them to stop or refund the payment.

There can also be a malicious app downloaded on your computer after visiting these fake websites. Make sure to scan the system for viruses and remove any files that seem fishy or that you didn’t download.

Additionally, change your saved passwords, bank account information, credit card details, and other data that you think the scammers can exploit. Also, don’t forget to block these scam URLs.

Lastly, you should also report these cybercrime websites to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


Abdullah Iqbal

Abdullah is a Google IT certified Help Desk Technician with extensive experience in providing technical support to system users. He has a proven track record of effectively resolving IT issues, and is adept at working with tools like Jira and ZenDesk to efficiently manage support tickets. Abdullah is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and constantly seeks to improve his skills and knowledge through professional development opportunities.
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How to Identify and Stop Fake McAfee Popups in Windows?

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