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Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses?

"Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses" is a fake error message similar to Please Call Apple Support, Bankworm Virus, We Have Detected A Trojan Virus, and many others. It is displayed by malicious sites that users often visit inadvertently (they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs [PUPs] or intrusive advertisements delivered by other deceptive sites).

Research shows that potentially unwanted programs typically infiltrate the system without permission and, as well as causing redirects, deliver intrusive advertisements and gather sensitive information.

Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses scam

This error states that the computer is infected with a number of viruses and encourages users to immediately scan the system. Be aware, however, that this is a scam - "Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses" error is fake. Cyber criminals employ this scam model to proliferate fake system optimization/anti-virus tools.

Users are encouraged to download software that will 'remove' allegedly existing viruses, however, these applications are typically designed to display long lists of infections that do not exist. Furthermore, 'free versions' of these apps are supposedly incapable of removing the listed infections. Therefore, users are encouraged to purchase the 'full version'.

This error is fake and you should never download any promoted software. If you have already done so, delete it immediately and certainly do not purchase any full version. The "Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses" error can be removed simply by closing the web browser, however, some rogue sites employ scripts that prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows.

In these cases, terminate the browser using Task Manager or simply reboot the system. The next time the browser is opened, do not restore the previous session, otherwise you will end up reopening the malicious site/s.

Potentially unwanted programs deliver various intrusive advertisements, such as coupons, banners, pop-ups, and so on. These ads are delivered using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any visited website. Therefore, they often conceal underlying content, significantly diminishing the web browsing experience.

Furthermore, intrusive ads can lead to malicious websites and even execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware/PUPs. Therefore, even a single click can result in high-risk computer infections. Another important issue is data tracking.

Research shows that potentially unwanted programs gather information such as IP addresses, websites visited, pages viewed, search queries, keystrokes, and so on.

The data often includes personal details that developers sell to third parties. These people (potentially, cyber criminals) misuse private information to generate revenue. Therefore, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. For these reasons, potentially unwanted programs must be uninstalled immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses" virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
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As mentioned above, "Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses" shares many similarities with dozens of other fake errors. All state that the system is damaged (e.g., infected, missing files, and so on), however, these claims are merely attempts to scare and trick users into calling fake 'tech support' (and pay for unnecessary services) or using deceptive applications.

Potentially unwanted programs also share many similarities. By offering "useful features", PUPs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, these applications are designed only to generate revenue for the developers.

Rather than delivering any real value for regular users, PUPs cause unwanted redirects, gather sensitive data, and deliver intrusive advertisements, thereby posing a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Some PUPs have official download websites, however, in most cases these programs infiltrate systems without consent, since developers proliferate them using intrusive advertisements and the "bundling" method (stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software/apps).

Developers do not disclose "bundled" PUP installations properly - they hide them within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes.

In addition, many users rush these procedures, skip steps, and click advertisements without understanding the possible consequences. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

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

Be aware that intrusive advertisements may seem legitimate and useful, but once clicked, redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other similar dubious websites. If you encounter such ads, immediately eliminate all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins.

Furthermore, select "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs. Opt-out of all additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links.

Third party download/installation tools often include rogue applications, and thus should never be used.

"Your Mac Is Infected With 3 Viruses" fake error text:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses!
Your Mac is infected with 3 viruses. Our security check found traces of 2 malware and 1 phishing/spyware. System damage: 28.1% - immediate removal required!
The immediate removal of the viruses is required to prevent further system damage, loss of Apps, Photos or other files. Traces of 1 phishing/spyware were found on your Mac with OS X High Sierra. Personal and banking information are at risk.

To avoid more damage click on 'Scan Now' immediately. Our deep scan will provide help immediately!

Appearance of "Your Mac is infected with 3 viruses" pop-up scam, at the time of research this campaign was promoting Mac Tweak Pro, and Mac Mechanic unwanted applications:

mac infected with 3 viruses pop-up scam appearance (.gif)

Instant automatic Mac 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 Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac 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. Limited seven 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 macOS.

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 macOS) - 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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