What is “Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License” scam

“Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License” scam is a deceptive pop-up ad that tries to trick users into purchasing a McAfee subscription so that malicious actors can earn a commission. These scammers behind this pop-up are essentially misusing McAfee’s commission’s program that allows sites to earn money for promoting the product. McAfee is a legitimate anti-virus program and has nothing to do with how it’s promoted by scammers.

Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License scam


“Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License” is the headline of this deceptive pop-up that users may see on their screens, regardless of whether they have McAfee anti-virus installed on their devices or not. The pop-up then proceeds to explain that malware and viruses may enter an unprotected computer. Technically, that’s not incorrect. However, despite the accurate claims, it’s still a deceptive ad because it promotes a non-existent discount, as well as appears on users’ screens randomly.

The pop-up claims that you are eligible for up to a 70% discount. There’s also a link that, if clicked, would take you to the McAfee website. If you were to purchase the subscription, you would get a McAfee license but the malicious actors promoting McAfee using such deceptive methods would also get a commission. That’s the whole point of these kinds of pop-ups. In that sense, it’s rather harmless. But there are similar scams that try to phish users’ personal and banking information so it’s important that you do not interact with these kinds of pop-ups and redirects. And keep in mind that these kinds of deceptive ads are not legitimate ads pushed by anti-virus vendors.

If you interacted with this particular pop-up, nothing malicious likely happened. The link in the pop-up likely led to a legitimate McAfee subscription page, though the mentioned 70% discount is certainly fake.

McAfee subscription

There are a couple of reasons why you are redirected to this and similar pop-ups. Either your computer is infected with adware or you visit high-risk websites without an adblocker. The easiest way to determine whether it’s adware is to scan your computer with anti-virus software. If adware is indeed present, only removing it would stop the redirects.

Why are you redirected to questionable websites?

There are two possible reasons why you’re redirected to this “Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License” scam. If the redirects happened once or twice when you’re browsing certain websites, it’s likely the sites that are at fault. Certain sites (e.g. sites with pornographic or pirated content) are known to constantly trigger random redirects. Using an adblocker program is recommended because it will block all intrusive ads and redirects.

If you’re redirected regularly, it’s possible that your computer has adware installed. It’s not a very dangerous infection that mostly focuses on exposing users to advertisement content. Adware developers use various deceptive methods to install the infections on users’ computers. In most cases, the software bundling method is used. This allows adware programs to install essentially unnoticed. The way it works is adware, browser hijackers, and other similar infections can come attached to free software as extra offers. The offers are attached in a way that allows them to install alongside the program automatically, without requiring additional permission. Users who do not pay attention when installing programs are usually the ones who end up installing these offers. Learning to correctly install freeware can help prevent unwanted installations. Software bundling is clearly a rather deceptive installation method, and programs that use it are often detected as potential threats by anti-virus programs.

The extra offers are optional but you need to manually deselect them if you want to prevent them from installing. Because the offers are hidden, users simply do not notice them and are unable to deselect them because of this. To make the offers visible, you need to choose Advanced (Custom) settings when given the option during installation. The installation window may recommend using Default settings but those settings will conceal all offers and permit them to install. Advanced settings, on the other hand, will not only make all offers visible but also allow you to deselect what you do not want. We always recommend deselecting all offers because even if they seem useful at first sight, nothing good will come of them. No legitimate program will install using software bundling. And it’s much easier to uncheck a couple of boxes than it is to later have to uninstall persistent programs.

“Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License” scam removal

Whenever you come across these kinds of pop-ups, you can simply close the windows. Make sure to install an adblocker program, especially when you’re visiting high-risk websites. We also recommend scanning your computer with anti-virus software to check for an adware infection. If the redirects are caused by adware, only removing it would stop them permanently.