AppleCare Protection Plan POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "AppleCare Protection Plan" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove AppleCare Protection Plan from Mac?

What is AppleCare Protection Plan?

"AppleCare Protection Plan" is a fake error message that shares similarities with "Mac iOS Security At Risk Error Code: HT201155", "AppleCare Tech Support", and many others. This error is displayed by various malicious websites. Most visitors arrive at these sites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) or intrusive advertisements delivered by other rogue sites. Be aware that many unwanted applications infiltrate systems without users’ permission. As well as causing redirects, they deploy intrusive advertisements and gather sensitive information.

AppleCare Protection Plan scam

This error essentially states that the system is infected with several viruses that must be eliminated immediately. To achieve this, users are encouraged to download an anti-virus application called Advanced Mac Cleaner. Be aware, however, that this is a scam and Apple has nothing to do with it. Developers use this misleading message to promote fully-monetized applications. Note that, although AppleCare Protection Plan promotes Advanced Mac Cleaner, users are provided with the download link of the Mac Mechanic PUA. In any case, "AppleCare Protection Plan" error message should be ignored and you should not download any promoted apps. Remember that no browser/website can detect malware on your computer. "AppleCare Protection Plan" error can be removed simply by closing the browser or rebooting the system, however, remember not to restore the previous session after you re-run the browser, otherwise the malicious websites are reopened.

Potentially unwanted applications are notorious for displaying intrusive advertisements. They deliver them by employing tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any visited website. Therefore, intrusive ads often conceal underlying content, thereby diminishing the browsing experience. In addition, they can lead to infectious websites and execute scripts that download/install malware. Therefore, clicking then can result in system infections. Furthermore, PUAs often gather keystrokes, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, geo-locations, IP addresses, and other data that is likely to contain personal details. This information is typically shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing sensitive data. Therefore, data tracking 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 Protection Plan" 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.
Scammers' Phone Number +1-800-230-0506
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.
Removal

To eliminate AppleCare Protection Plan 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.

As mentioned above, "AppleCare Protection Plan" is very similar to dozens of other fake errors. All claim that the system is damaged (e.g., infected, missing files or similar), however, these messages are designed only to extort money from unsuspecting users. Potentially unwanted applications are all very similar. They offer "useful features" just to trick users to install. PUAs 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 potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In some cases, unwanted apps have official download/promotion websites, however, most are distributed using intrusive advertisements and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" (stealth installation of third party apps with regular software). Developers hide "bundled" software within various sections (e.g., "Custom/Advanced" settings) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users click advertisements, rush download/installation processes, and skip steps. This behavior can lead to infiltration of potentially unwanted applications such as AppleCare Protection Plan.

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. Carefully analyze each download/installation step using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Opt-out of additionally-included apps and decline offers to download/install them. We recommend that you avoid using third party downloaders/installers and download your programs from official sources (via direct download links) only. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, most are delivered by adware-type PUAs. If you experience suspicious redirects, remove all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of "AppleCare Protection Plan" scam (GIF):

Appearance of AppleCare Protection Plan scam (GIF)

"AppleCare Protection Plan" pop-up encouraging users to download Advanced Mac Cleaner application:

AppleCare Protection Plan promoting Advanced Mac Cleaner

At time of research, this pop-up promoted the Mac Mechanic unwanted application, rather than Advanced Mac Cleaner:

AppleCare Protection Plan promoting Mac Mechanic

Another variant of "AppleCare Protection Plan" scam campaign. Instead of promoting questionable applications, crooks now use these deceptive pop-ups to trick them into calling fake tech support and paying for services that aren't needed:

AppleCare Protection Plan tech support scam

Text presented within this 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 +1-800-230-0506 and follow Virus removal procedure immediately.

*If you leave this site your Mac OS will remain damaged and vulnerable*

Prevent this page from creating additional dialogues.

Instant automatic removal of AppleCare Protection Plan 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 Protection Plan 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 eliminate "AppleCare Protection Plan" fake error using Combo Cleaner:

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 protection plan" 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 Protection Plan" virus removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove "applecare protection plan" 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 protection plan" 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 protection plan" 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 Protection Plan 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 Protection Plan" virus on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

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▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Combo Cleaner for Mac

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.