/ Scams

Phishing alert: fake McAfee and Norton Antivirus emails

A familiar phishing scam has returned: scammers are trying their luck at convincing people they need to renew antivirus protection they didn’t know they had.

Fake emails posing as McAfee and Norton Antivirus informing people that their subscription is at an end and needs renewing are currently circulating. The emails ask you to click through on links in order to ‘renew the subscriptions’.

We’ve seen copies of both so you know exactly what to watch out for.

Fake McAfee antivirus email

The McAfee renewal phishing email tells people their subscription has expired and that they ‘strongly recommend renewing your McAfee subscription to keep your privacy online and protect your communications.’


Fake Norton Antivirus email

On the other hand, the fake Norton Antivirus email is a bit more canny. Devoid of colour and any official branding, it uses the format of a payment invoice, claiming that your subscription has been automatically renewed and updated. 


This is partly an attempt to trick you into contacting the scammers using the details at the bottom of the email. 

Spotting fake antivirus emails

Luckily, these emails aren’t as sophisticated as others we’ve seen, but they still pose a threat. They’re absent of official logos or branding and are poorly written, making them easier to spot.

The Norton scam email was sent from a personal email address and uses the wrong currency. It also grossly inflates the cost of subscription: it quotes $542.68 (almost £400) – the actual UK cost of Norton 360 protection is £124.99 for an annual subscription.

These emails are trying to convince people that they have these antivirus products and that they need to be renewed to protect your device. They want you to think that your devices are unprotected and vulnerable.

Both McAfee and Norton have dedicated pages on their websites informing people of the potential scam emails out there claiming to be from them. 

When we made Norton aware of the email a spokesperson confirmed that the email did not originate from them, they said:

“NortonLifeLock is a trusted name in consumer Cyber Safety. We encourage consumers to be vigilant and monitor for phishing attempts, where, commonly, cybercriminals attempt to take advantage of the trusted reputation built by companies and public bodies, to try and trick and defraud consumers.

Any NortonLifeLock customer with a concern should contact our customer support teams, while we also provide helpful tips and techniques for identifying and reporting phishing on our website.”

We reached out to McAfee but it did not respond.

Continue to report phishing emails

You can report phishing email attempts to Action Fraud or you can send them on directly to the National Cyber Security Centre at report@phishing.gov.uk

If you think you may have fallen victim to a phishing email, let your bank know what’s happened straight away.

Guide: how to spot a scam

Guide: how to get your money back after a scam

You can also help protect others from scams like this by making us aware of them using our Scams Sharer tool.

Have you received fake subscription renewal emails for antivirus products or other brands? Let us know in the comments.


Money is the route
Of all evil people will
die for it they call it

If money is the route of all evil, maybe we should turn back now.

If we were brave we could follow the route and attack the root of the problem.

It seems there are evil people in the world, and good people. Are the bad ones the descendents of aliens, perhaps from Mars when it was seen to be dying? Professor Quatermass did some reseach into this.

The full quote is: The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Radix malorum est cupiditas – The Pardoner’s Tale!

Ingrid W says:
16 October 2021

I was inundated with these emails for nearly 3 weeks they tailed off a bit in the 3rd week and last week they had stopped. Mostly the McAfee ones but also a few of the Bitcoin & crypto currency ones. Two claimed I had over £13,000 in my account! Blocked & deleted all but then they just use a new email address. I have had some that appear to be sent by me to me!

Sandra D says:
16 October 2021

Like you I have had a lot. I check sender, block them but they keep coming. Just hope they will get bored in time.

Peter Griggs says:
16 October 2021

I’ve had both and have ignored them; they are very good facsimiles of the real thing, sadly….

I H Curtis says:
16 October 2021

One is asked to send scam e-mails to


Constantly getting McAfee scam…totally frustrated. getting no joy frome. Just scumbags not willing to work for money honestly. Disgusting creatures

That’s the spirit, get them TOLD! I do, if they keep ringing and if you’re quite sure it’s only some lousy scam artist then just tell them you know they’re scammers and give them some dreadful abuse like I did last time they rang me ages ago and they’ve not been back since, it looks like they got the message, and of course if they try it again they’ll get told more, I won’t tolerate idiots ringing me and giving me grief and trying to pressure me into any stupid nonsense or trying to rip me off. You can often tell by their manner that it’s a scammer or else you get some stupid recording of a robotic sounding voice, a bit like the dwp’s pip department trying to tell you some stupid absurd nonsense like something about “your amazon account” when you’ve never had one.

Lorraine says:
16 October 2021

Had a phone call about my husbands tsb bank account on my answer machine my husbands been dead for 2 years now sickening really stay safe

I have been inundated by the McAfee ones in the past week sometimes receiving from 3 or 4 different people at the same time. I simply report them as spam and get them blocked. I’m hoping eventually they’ll run out of new email addresses. They have very weird email addresses quite often so not sure anyone could really be fooled. It just gets tiresome having to block them each time.

Susan says:
16 October 2021

I too have received several both from McAfee and Norton – I believe this is because about 8 years ago I did purchase the Norton one and the McAfee was given to me as a gift however as I did not like either I cancelled them. I also receive emails addressed to me from me so I blocked myself – even though Microsoft does not like that you simply change some letters to asterisks and it goes through ok.

Andrew Denyer says:
18 October 2021

The fact that you used to have either will have nothing to do with getting targeted by the scammer – they are just relying on the fact that a fair percentage of those that receive the emails do currently use one of those products. It’s the same with the scam emails or texts that purport to come from one of the banks – if its’ from a bank you don’t use you will know straight away it can’t be genuine, but they are just hoping to catch out the ones that do.

I have received both Norton and McAfee emails saying i needed to renew i ignored them and then Norton kept saying it was a final warning about 5 times ,i put them in spam and got rid o them ,such a pain .

I have received both Norton and McAfee emails saying i needed to renew i ignored them and then Norton kept saying it was a final warning about 5 times ,i put them in spam and got rid o them ,such a pain .

Hi there so if you get a call from this number it’s Norton scam 01880417000 they want to get remote access to your computer ignore number also reported to Norton to confirm it Share number to make people aware it is a call back number they just want all your info they also put up fake pop ups on Norton websites this is where I found the scam

Dean says:
16 October 2021

As Norton & Mcafee, like avset, eset, bitfinder etc, don’t support linux at all, or don’t offer home products (offerung more expensive options with less features). Any such communication, is treated with derision.

Have had nearly 50 McAfee/Norton Emails in the last 3 weeks. Haven’t used McAfee in years so obviously fraudulent. One of the best giveaways was that on 2 of the Emails, the dates were in French. I always look at the originating address and they appear to come from all over the world.

I receive the McAfee scam several times on most days. They always use an adress that appears to belong to a well known pharmacy company (Wallgreens). They even send me reminders after telling me that my account has been closed! There also seems to be a connection with South Africa and cloud storage.

Elizabeth Laura Starr says:
17 October 2021

i keep getting mail saying i am at risk – need to renew my subscription to McAfee – but I don’t have a subscription with them. I just keep deleting them but do I have to wait until they get fed up or is there some way I can permanently stop yhem

Mark says:
18 October 2021

I am getting 3 or 4 of these a day.

Not fooled, stopped using Norton about 15 years and 2 email addresses ago, and never used Mcafee.

It’s just tedious.

I wish I knew how to block/filter emails on my iPad so these just got deleted on arrival.

Shopping gift cards Aldi £200
http://www.nationalconsumerhub.co.uk spoke to Aldi it’s a scam
Also the reviews on this site are bad and I only saw two good reviews probably fake they want you to do small servey download a game to claim gift card

[Moderator: this website appears to be a scam website. We’ve retained the URL to help you identify it, but we’ve redirected the link to our guidance on how to spot fraudulent website. ]

Iphone 11 scam robo call suspicious activity on your Amazon account press 1 speak to advisor I got talking to the scammer she told me she was in Bandra India but claiming to be in London when they call they try to take £500 at least of each victim reported to action fraud

Hi is there a way to check where notification come from they are sent to my phone it is also where I found some of the gift card scams

Nothing you get on your phone is worth taking seriously in my opinion, km. As can be seen from people’s comments, even e-mails can be dodgy. It’s always worth going on to the official website to check what offers and updates are being issued.