How to avoid scams like "Comcast Cable Warning Alert"

Also Known As: "Comcast Cable Communications congratulations" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Comcast Cable Communications congratulations"?

Comcast Cable Communications is a legitimate provider of cable operator services in the US. Note, however, that Cable Communications has nothing to do with the "Comcast Cable Communications congratulations" scam. Scammers promote this pop-up scam as a lottery, an offer to win a Walmart Gift Card.

Generally, these fraudulent pop-ups scams, and others, are promoted through dubious, deceptive websites. Few users arrive at these websites intentionally - most people are forced to visit them by unwanted applications installed on the system.

These apps are often installed stealthily, or users install them inadvertently. They go on to cause unwanted redirects, serve users with intrusive advertisements, and collect information relating to browsing habits (and other data).

Comcast Cable Communications congratulations scam

More about the "Comcast Cable Communications congratulations"scam

According to this scam, Comcast Cable Communications wants to thank its customers for loyalty by offering an exclusive chance to receive a Walmart Gift Card worth $1000.

To get started, users must choose a gift box, however, making this choice or performing any further actions relating to this scam, will most likely result in providing scammers with data such as geo-locations, IP addresses, and so on. Do not visit these websites or trust them by completing forms, clicking links, and performing other actions.

The best option is to simply close the site. If a website prevents you from closing it, use Activity Monitor and terminate the entire browser process, or restart the Mac. In any case, do not reopen/restore the closed session, since this will return you to the same deceptive website. Many dubious websites promote various scams. Examples include hipstarclub.com and luckstarclub.com.

As mentioned earlier, users end up visiting these untrustworthy websites due to the presence of installed unwanted apps. In addition to unwanted redirects, they deliver ads such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and others. These are usually displayed via tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site and conceal underling content.

Being fed with these ads can be annoying and, once clicked, they often redirect to untrustworthy, malicious websites or execute scripts designed to download and install other unwanted apps. Furthermore, rogue apps often record browsing-related data. They gather information such as IP addresses, geo-locations, search queries, URLs of visited websites, etc.

Some of these apps also gather personal/sensitive data. Developers share the details with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private information to generate revenue. In summary, installed shady apps can cause problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, or even identity theft. We recommend that you remove all installed apps of this type immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Comcast Cable Communications congratulations" 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.
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More about unwanted apps promoting scams

Most unwanted apps are promoted as legitimate and useful, however, this is just a way to trick people into downloading and installing them. Once installed, they provide none of the features promised or any other functionality. On the contrary, rogue apps cause many problems and are used only to generate revenue for their developers.

How did unwanted applications install on my computer?

Unintentional installation of potentially unwanted applications usually happen due the lack of knowledge of these threats or careless behaviour.

Developers proliferate unwanted apps through intrusive ads or a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", which is used to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted apps by hiding them in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar sections of the installation or download processes.

In summary, information about the presence of bundled apps within installation or download set-ups is not properly disclosed. These apps are installed when users skip installation (or download) steps without checking the options/settings and leave them unchanged.

How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?

Download software using official and trustworthy websites only, and not third party downloaders, installers, tools such as torrents, eMule, or other similar channels. Check "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings during any installation (or download), especially if the software is free.

Dismiss offers to install/download any unwanted applications and only the finish the process. Avoid clicking advertisements, especially if they are displayed on untrustworthy, unofficial websites. These often cause redirects to untrustworthy or potentially malicious websites such as pornography, adult dating, gambling, and so on.

If these redirects happen regularly, check your browser for any unwanted extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons. Also check the list of installed programs on your computer. Uninstall unwanted/unknown applications or programs immediately. If your computer is already infected with dubious apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "Comcast Cable Communications congratulations" pop-up scam:

Dear client Comcast Cable Communications inc., congratulations!
We would like to thank you for your loyalty to Comcast Cable Communications inc., and thus we offer you an exclusive chance to get a Walmart $1000 Gift Card today - December 28 (Friday), 2018. All you have to do is choose the correct gift box to get started. Good luck!

These pop-ups are commonly displayed on iPhones and iPads. To eliminate them, simply close the tab and clear your Safari browser cache. To do this:

1. Open the Settings app.
2. Scroll down until you see Safari and tap on it.
3. Select Clear History and Website Data.

To enable pop-up blocking in iOS follow these steps:

1. Launch Settings.
2. Tap Safari.
3. Under the "General" section, click the toggle next to "Block Pop-ups" to enable or disable the pop-up blocker. Make sure that the toggle is green.

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:
▼ 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.

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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?

A pop-up scam is a deceptive tactic where fraudulent pop-up windows or messages appear on a user's device, often claiming to be from a legitimate source, to trick individuals into taking specific actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

The aim is to trick individuals into revealing personal information, clicking on malicious links, downloading malicious files, paying for unnecessary services or products, or performing other actions that benefit the scammer.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Malicious websites are the source of pop-up scams, and many users do not access them directly. Instead, redirection occurs either through existing malicious applications or when users visit a website employing a questionable advertising network.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner is designed to scan each website you visit, with the capability to detect malicious ones, including those designed to deliver pop-up scams. Consequently, you will receive an immediate warning and access to such sites will be restricted.

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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.

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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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