Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses" pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses"?

"Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses" is a scam promoted through a deceptive website. Its main purpose is to trick people into believing that their iPhone smartphones are compromised and infected, and to promote an app that supposedly fixes this issue.

This scam website should not be trusted, and the same applies to apps promoted through it. People generally open this scam website unintentionally and these sites are often opened by potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) installed on their systems.

Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses scam

When opened, this site displays a pop-up window stating that the visitor's iPhone has been compromised and immediate action is required. The notification on the website states that the iPhone is infected with 17 viruses and, unless removed, they will proliferate further and damage sensitive data, affecting the Facebook account, WhatsApp messages, and other apps.

To remove these viruses, people are encouraged to download Shield VPN app. If clicked, the "Clean Device" buttons opens its download page. The mobile version of this scam website is quite similar. It states that the currently-used browsing app is damaged by trojan viruses that were installed whilst visiting corrupted websites.

Other information is virtually identical to that displayed on the desktop version. We recommend that you ignore this scam (and virus alert) and do not trust apps promoted through websites of this kind.

Scam websites and other dubious sites often are opened by a potentially unwanted app installed on the browser or computer. PUAs cause unwanted redirects, gather browsing-related data, and often feed users with unwanted, intrusive ads. They gather IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations, and other similar data.

Developers share the information with other parties (possibly cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Furthermore, these adware-type apps deliver coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on. When clicked, they open potentially malicious pages or execute scripts designed to download/install unwanted apps.

Therefore, having apps of this type installed might lead to privacy/browsing safety issues, unwanted installations, and other problems.

Threat Summary:
Name "Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses" pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud, Mac Virus
Fake Claim Fake error messages claim that the system is infected and encourages users to download a "fixing tool", which is a deceptive application.
Distributed Unwanted Apps Shield VPN
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.
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.

There are a number of scam websites similar to "Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses" including, for example, "Your Mac Is Infected With 4 Viruses", "Update To The Latest Version Of Flash Player", and "Your Mac Is Heavily Damaged! (33.2%)". Typically, scammers use these sites to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted apps.

Do not trust those apps and simply ignore the websites. Also, do not trust apps that open them, even if they are promoted as legitimate - they are often used to generate revenue for the developers and  provide no promoted tools, features, or other value.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Typically, people end up having unwanted apps downloaded and installed when software developers use the "bundling" method. They use this deceptive marketing method to trick people into downloading/installing PUAs with other software that people download/install intentionally.

Developers hide these apps in "Custom", "Advanced" settings of the download/installation set-ups. Users who do not check these settings often cause unwanted download and installation of PUAs. In some cases, these downloads/installations are caused by clicked intrusive, deceptive advertisements that execute scripts designed to download/install various PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

All software and files should be downloaded from legitimate, official websites and using direct download links. Third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule and so on, unofficial websites and other similar sources should not be trusted.

Handle each software download and installation with care. Do not any setup without checking all available "Custom", "Advanced" and other options/settings and deselecting bundled apps. Intrusive advertisements often seem legitimate, however, they can cause unwanted redirects.

When clicked, they open untrustworthy websites relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc. If you encounter these ads or the browser causes unwanted redirects, check for suspicious, unknown extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the browser, or programs on the operating system.

Remove unwanted entries immediately. 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 the pop-up window:

Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses.
Immediate action is required to prevent it from spreading and infecting sensitive data like your Facebook account, Whatsapp messages and private applications

Download Shield VPN and follow instructions to clean your device.

Screenshot of the app promoted through this deceptive website:

Shield VPN app promoted through a scam website

Appearance of "Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Your Apple iPhone Is Infected By (17) Viruses scam (GIF)

To enable pop-up blocking, fraudulent website warnings, and remove web browsing data in mobile Apple devices, follow these steps:

First, go to "Settings", then scroll down to find and tap "Safari".

Apple mobile devices Safari settings

Check if the "Block Pop-ups" and "Fraudulent Website Warning" toggles are enabled. If not, enable them immediately. Then, scroll down and tap "Advanced".

Enable pop-up blocking and fraudulent website warnings in Apple Mobile Devices

Tap "Website Data" and then "Remove All Website Data".

Apple mobile devices remove web browsing data

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.

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.

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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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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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