PayPal Account Is On Hold POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"PayPal account is on hold" removal instructions

What is "PayPal account is on hold"?

The "PayPal account is on hold" scam is presented on a deceptive website that should not be trusted. Scammers use it to steal PayPal accounts. Typically, people end up visiting websites of this type due to potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on their browsers or operating systems. In addition to unwanted redirects, PUAs often serve users with intrusive advertisements and collect information relating to browsing habits.

PayPal account is on hold scam

The main goal of the "PayPal account is on hold" scam is to trick people into believing that their PayPal accounts are temporarily blocked due to suspicious activities. To unblock their accounts, people are encouraged to verify their identities by calling 'PayPal Customer Support' via the "+1(866)-661-2666" telephone number. It is likely that (if called) these scammers will try to determine the user's PayPal account username and password - the details required to log into the PayPal account. We strongly recommend that you ignore this scam, since trusting it might lead to a stolen account, which is then misused to generate revenue (causing the victim financial loss). Scammers promote this scam website using Amazon Web Services, a legitimate service created by the Amazon company. Many scammers misuse such services for malicious purposes.

People visit this scam website due to installed PUAs that redirect them to it. These apps often deliver unwanted ads such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and others. The ads are annoying and conceal underlying content of visited web pages. People who willingly or accidentally click them are often redirected to dubious (potentially, malicious) websites. Clicking these ads can allow them to run scripts designed to download/install even more unwanted apps. Another downside of having PUAs installed is information tracking. They collect IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, and other data of this kind. Some PUAs might also record personal details. Developers share all gathered data with other parties who misuse it to generate revenue.

Threat Summary:
Name possible malware infections
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Cyber criminals pose as PayPal employees and claim that they have detected some suspicious activity on the user's account, which is why it was supposedly suspended. Users are encouraged to contact these people to "unblock" the account.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1(866)-661-2666
Serving IP address (ioserror23.s3-website.ca-central-1.amazonaws[.]com) 52.95.147.23
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Removal

To eliminate possible malware infections our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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There are many different scams that criminals use to extort money from people in deceptive ways. Some examples of other scams are "Backdoor Virus Detected", "Hard Drive Safety Delete", and "Error Code 09-986-6321". Typically, most of these scams occur when people have unwanted apps installed on their systems, or when they click ads displayed on dubious websites.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Users often download and install PUAs unintentionally. In most cases, this happens due to careless download/installation of software and since developers use the "bundling" method. Bundling helps them to trick people into downloading/installing unwanted apps together with regular software. To achieve this, they fail to properly disclose information about the inclusion (bundling) of PUAs in software set-ups. They hide them in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings. Furthermore, many users often leave setup settings unchecked and unchanged. In doing so, they inadvertently allow PUAs to be installed with other software. PUAs are also accidentally installed by clicking intrusive ads - usually those displayed on dubious websites.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download software only from official websites. It is not safe to use various third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks such as eMule, torrent clients, and other similar channels. Additionally, it is important to check "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings of the software setup and dismiss offers to install unwanted applications. Do not trust or click intrusive ads, especially those displayed on pages relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating, and so on. If clicked, they cause redirects to other untrustworthy or even malicious pages. If you believe that a potentially unwanted/adware-type application is installed on your browser, check the list of installed extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons, and remove all suspicious, unwanted entries immediately. Also check the list of programs that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "PayPal account is on hold" scam:

Your Account is on temporary hold!!

We Have Detected A suspicious Activity on Your Account, Call Customer Support Expert Verify Your Identity and Get Your Account Unblocked.
Contact Customer Support Call +1(866)-661-2666

The appearance of "PayPal account is on hold" pop-up (GIF):

PayPal account is on hold scam gif

Instant automatic removal of possible malware infections: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of possible malware infections. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter 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 Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

PUAs uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the possible malware infections, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the possible malware infections, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with possible malware infections removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove possible malware infections from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on possible malware infections or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
possible malware infections 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 possible malware infections on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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