Spyware Detected On Your Computer! POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" virus
Damage level: Medium

What is Spyware Detected On Your Computer!?

Displayed by various malicious websites, "Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" is a fake error message claiming that the system is infected. Research shows that most users visit these sites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) or intrusive ads displayed on other malicious sites.

Note that PUPs typically infiltrate systems without permission, deliver intrusive advertisements, gather various data, and sometimes run unwanted background tasks.

Spyware Detected On Your Computer! scam

The error message states that a specific system infection has been detected and, for this reason, personal data (banking information, login/passwords, etc.) is at risk. Users are encouraged to eliminate the malware immediately, however, to achieve this, they must contact 'tech support' via a telephone number provided ("+1-888-298-2932") and follow the instructions.

Note that "Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" is fake. Cyber criminals attempt to trick users into calling the telephone number. In this way, developers hope to generate revenue - after calling the fake "tech support", users are encouraged to pay for various dubious services.

You should ignore the "Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" error and never attempt to call the telephone number. This error can be removed simply by closing the browser, however, note that some sites use scripts that prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows.

In these cases, terminate the browser using Task Manager or simply reboot the system. After re-running the browser, do not restore the previous session, otherwise you will reopen the malicious site.

As mentioned, potentially unwanted programs deliver intrusive advertisements (banners, pop-ups, coupons, and similar). To achieve this, developers employ various tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any visited website. Therefore, these ads often conceal underlying content, thereby diminishing the browsing experience.

Furthermore, intrusive ads might lead to malicious sites and even run scripts that stealthily download and install malware. Therefore, clicking them risks various system infections. Furthermore, potentially unwanted programs often gather various information relating to users' Internet browsing activity.

Collected data (for example, Internet Protocol [IP] addresses, websites visited, pages viewed, queries entered into search engines, etc.) typically includes personal details that are later shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private information to generate revenue - behavior that can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft.

In addition, potentially unwanted programs misuse system resources to mine cryptocurrencies or run other unwanted processes. The presence of this software can result in a significant reduction in overall system performance. Therefore, you are strongly advised to uninstall all PUPs immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" virus
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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"Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" is virtually identical to Windows Warning Alert, Microsoft Warning Alert, and dozens of other fake errors. All state that the system is infected, missing files, or damaged in other similar ways, however, these false claims are merely attempts to scare and trick users into purchasing unnecessary services ('tech support').

All PUPs share many similarities. These bogus programs offer various "useful features", however, their only purpose is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, PUPs generate ads, gather data, and run unwanted processes.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Some PUPs have official download websites. In most cases, however, these programs infiltrate systems without permission, since developers promote them using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" and intrusive advertisements. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of PUPs with regular (typically free) software.

Developers hide "bundled" apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes.

They do not disclose this information properly. Furthermore, many users rush download/installation processes and skip steps. In addition, they often click various "tempting" (yet suspicious) links/ads. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and especially when downloading/installing software.

Be aware that intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, they redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious websites. If you encounter these redirects, immediately remove all suspicious applications.

Furthermore, select "Custom/Advanced" settings, closely analyze each download/installation step, and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. We strongly recommend that you avoid using third party download/installation tools, since criminals monetize them by promoting PUPs. Applications should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links.

Text presented in "Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" pop-up:

Windows Warning Alert
Malicious Spyware/Riskware Detected
Error # 0x80072ee7
Please call us immediately at: +1-888-298-2932
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that is has been infected with a Spyware and risk ware. The following information is being stolen...
Financial Data
Facebook Logins
Credit Card Details
Email Account Logins
Photos stored on this computer
You must contact us immediately so that our expert
engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to
prevent your computer from being disabled or from any information loss.

Text presented in the fake scan image displayed in the malicious website:

Warning! Spyware detected on your computer!
WARNING! 41 threats found.

The appearance of "Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" pop-up (GIF):

Spyware Detected On Your Computer! scam gif

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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