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Spyware Detected On Your Computer! POP-UP Scam

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

Spyware Detected On Your Computer! removal instructions

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 TypePhishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
SymptomsUnauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.
Distribution methodsDeceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
DamageLoss 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 computer 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:
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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Spyware Detected On Your Computer! adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "spyware detected on your computer!" virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "spyware detected on your computer!" virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "spyware detected on your computer!" virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "spyware detected on your computer!" virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "spyware detected on your computer!" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
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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.

QR Code
Spyware Detected On Your Computer! virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "Spyware Detected On Your Computer!" virus on your mobile device.
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