How to spot scams like MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware

Also Known As: "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware"?

"MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" is another fake error message that shares similarities with Website You Visited Infected Your Mac With A Virus, You Mac May Be Infected By A Virus!, Mac OS Security, and many others. This error message is displayed by a number of deceptive websites. Most visitors arrive at these sites inadvertently.

MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware pop-up scam (2021-01-22)

"MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" scam in detail

This error message states that the system is infected with high-risk malware. The infection must be eliminated immediately. Therefore, users are encouraged to contact Apple Support center via the telephone number ("+1-844-295-3111") provided. Be aware, however, that "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" is fake and Apple has nothing to do with this.

After contacting "tech support", users are asked to pay for services that are not needed - your computer is probably safe and virus free. Cyber criminals generate revenue by tricking gullible users into paying for unnecessary services. Therefore, ignore "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" and never call the aforementioned telephone number.

This error can be removed simply by closing the malicious site, however, some of these sites employ scripts that prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows. In these cases, the browser should be terminated using Task Manager. After re-running the browser, do not restore the closed session, otherwise the malicious websites are reopened.

More about apps promoting various scams

Apps of this kind can gather sensitive information including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc. This usually includes personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private information.

Therefore, the presence of data-tracking apps might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Furthermore, potentially unwanted applications deliver intrusive advertisements. To achieve this, developers employ tools (e.g., "virtual layers") that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site.

Therefore, intrusive ads often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. In addition, they often redirect to malicious websites and execute scripts that download and install other unwanted applications or even high-risk malware.

Therefore, clicking them can lead to system infections. For these reasons, all potentially unwanted applications must be eliminated immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Scammers Telephone Numbers +1-844-295-3111, +1-866-399-8722, +61-1800-572-283, +1-844-994-2772
Related Domain(s) chrmophotograph[.]host
Serving IP Address (chrmophotograph[.]host)
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.
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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.

Similarities with other scams

As mentioned above, "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" shares many similarities with dozens of other fake errors. All claim that system is damaged, however, these claims are merely attempts to trick users into purchasing unnecessary services or useless software.

Applications promoting such scams also share many similarities. Most claim to provide "useful functionality", however, these claims are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. These apps are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, these applications pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some potentially unwanted applications have official download websites, however, most infiltrate systems without consent, since developers proliferate them using intrusive advertisements and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling".

Developers hide "bundled" applications within "Custom/Advanced" settings or other sections of the download/installation processes - they do not disclose this information properly.

Furthermore, many users are likely to rush download/installation processes (skip steps) and click various advertisements - behavior that often leads to inadvertent installation of rogue apps. In this way, users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of 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 downloading/installing software. Remember that developers invest many resources into intrusive ad design, thereby making them seem legitimate.

Once clicked, however, they redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on). If you see these advertisements, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, you are strongly advised to download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links.

Third party downloaders/installers are often monetized using the "bundling" method, and thus these tools should never be used. If your computer is already infected with unwanted apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" pop-up:


MAC OS is infected with Spyware and other malicious applications. Spyware must be removed and system damage repaired. It is necessary to Call Apple Support +1-844-295-3111 and follow Virus removal procedures immediately, please proceed.
** If you leave this site your Mac OS will remain damaged and vulnerable**
The removal of (3) Spyware is required immediately to prevent further system damage, loss of Apps, Photos and other files.
Traces if (1) Phishing/Spyware were found on your Mac OS X. Personal and banking information are at risk.

Appearance of "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" pop-up scam (GIF):

MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware pop-up scam GIF

Another variant of "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" pop-up scam (the pop-up text is exactly the same, yet crooks use a different telephone number - "+1 (888) 903-0938")

MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware pop-up scam

Another variant of "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" pop-up scam:

MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware pop-up scam (2020-07-29)

Example of "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" scam designed to download text files in order to load (and potentially freeze) the browser:

MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware pop-up scam designed to download text files

Screenshot of the downloaded text file:

Text file downloaded by MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware pop-up scam

Appearance of "MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware" pop-up scam imitating mouse movement (GIF):

MAC OS Is Infected With Spyware pop-up scam imitating mouse movement

Instant automatic Mac 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 Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

It includes a message (or messages) displayed by a deceptive website. Typically, these scams display fake virus, error, or similar alerts. Scammers use them to trick visitors into performing certain actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Usually, scammers seek to trick unsuspecting visitors into providing sensitive information or remote access to computers. Also, they use these scams to trick users into infecting their computers with malware or purchasing unnecessary (or fake) software or services.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

These pop-ups are displayed by deceptive websites that get opened through other sites that use  questionable advertising networks. Also, these sites are promoted using shady ads, search engine poisoning techniques, untrustworthy website notifications.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan visited websites and detect untrustworthy ones. Thus, it will detect pages that display pop-up scams, warn you about them and restrict access to them.

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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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