AppleCare Tech Support POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "AppleCare Tech Support" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove AppleCare Tech Support from Mac?

What is AppleCare Tech Support?

"AppleCare Tech Support" is another fake error message delivered by various deceptive websites. Most visitors arrive at these sites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) or intrusive advertisements delivered by other rogue sites. Research shows that many potentially unwanted applications infiltrate systems without permission. As well as causing redirects, they deliver intrusive advertisements and gather sensitive information.

AppleCare Tech Support scam

The message states that users' computer are infected/damaged and must be repaired immediately. Therefore, they are encouraged to call Apple Support center via a telephone number ("+1-844-432-8844") provided and follow further instructions. To make it even more believable, rogue sites start downloading hundreds of junk files, which crash the web browser (it stops responding). This is a scam and Apple has nothing to do with "AppleCare Tech Support". AppleCare is a legitimate tech support service provided by Apple. In this case, however, cyber criminals misuse this name to trick gullible users into calling and paying for services that are not required. Remember, "AppleCare Tech Support" error is fake - your computer is probably safe and virus free. Therefore, you should ignore this message and never attempt to call the aforementioned telephone number. The "AppleCare Tech Support" error can be removed simply by closing the web browser. Note that some rogue sites employ scripts that disable closing of browsing tabs/windows. In these cases, terminate the browser using Task Manager or simply reboot the system. Do not restore the previous browsing session the next time you open the browser, otherwise the malicious websites will also be reopened.

As mentioned above, potentially unwanted applications deliver coupon, banner, pop-up, and other similar advertisements. To achieve this, developers employ tools that enable placement of third party graphical on any site. Therefore, intrusive ads often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, intrusive ads can lead to malicious websites and execute scripts that download and install malware. Therefore, even a single accidental click can result in high-risk computer infections. Potentially unwanted applications are also notorious for information tracking. They gather information relating to web browsing activity. Collected data (IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, keystrokes, etc.) typically includes personal details. In addition, data is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) and misused to generate revenue. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking apps can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. You are strongly advised to eliminate all potentially unwanted applications immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name"AppleCare Tech Support" virus
Threat TypeMac malware, Mac virus
SymptomsYour Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
DamageInternet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate AppleCare Tech Support virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

"AppleCare Tech Support" shares many similarities with dozens of other fake errors, such as PEGASUS SPYWARE ACTIVATED, E.tre456_worm_osx Trojan Virus, and many others. All claim that the system is damaged, however, these false claims are merely attempts to trick users into purchasing unnecessary services or software. All potentially unwanted applications are generally very similar. By offering "useful features", these apps attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, the only purpose of all PUAs is to generate revenue for the developers. Therefore, rather than delivering any real value for regular users, potentially unwanted applications pose a direct threat to your privacy and web browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have official download/promotion websites, however, most infiltrate systems without permission, since developers promote them using "bundling" and intrusive advertising methods. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of potentially unwanted applications together with regular software/apps. Developers are not honest enough to disclose these installations properly. Therefore, all PUAs are hidden within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users are likely to rush and skip procedure steps and click various advertisements. This behavior often leads to inadvertent installation of potentially unwanted applications. Therefore, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent system infiltration by potentially unwanted applications, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Remember that intrusive ads typically seem legitimate, since developers invest a great deal of time and resources into their design, but they redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, and similar). If you experience these redirects, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, select "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely observe each step of the download/installation processes. Opt-out of additionally-included applications and decline offers to download/install them. We recommend that you download software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should not be used. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "AppleCare Tech Support" pop-up:

WARNING!
MAC OS is infected with Viruses and other malicious applications. Viruses must be removed and system damage repaired. It is necessary to Call Apple Support +1-844-432-8844 and follow Virus removal procedure immediately, please proceed.
If you leave this site your Mac OS will remain damaged and vulnerable.
The removal of (3) Viruses is required immediately to prevent further system damage, loss of Apps, Photos or other files.
Traces of (1) Phishing/Spyware were found on your Mac OS X. Personal and banking information are at risk.
Please Call Apple Support +1-844-432-8844

Appearance of "AppleCare Tech Support" scam (GIF):

Appearance of AppleCare Tech Support scam (GIF)

Files downloaded by deceptive websites that display "AppleCare Tech Support" pop-up:

AppleCare Tech Support downloading files to crash web browser

Note that these files are harmless and you can safely delete them. Websites download them just to crash the web browser.

Instant automatic removal of AppleCare Tech Support virus: 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 AppleCare Tech Support virus. 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. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac adware removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select “Applications”. In the applications folder, look for “MPlayerX”,“NicePlayer”, or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove "applecare tech support" virus related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

"AppleCare Tech Support" virus removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove "applecare tech support" virus related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove "applecare tech support" virus related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove "applecare tech support" virus related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
AppleCare Tech Support 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 "AppleCare Tech Support" virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.