How to spot scams like "You have been redirected to Apple Support"

Also Known As: You have been redirected to Apple Support page pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "You have been redirected to Apple Support page"?

"You have been redirected to Apple Support page" is a fake message displayed in a pop-up window on a deceptive, tech-support scam site.

Generally, web pages of this type are used to trick visitors into calling scammers who try to extort money from unsuspecting people. Do not to trust this web page or call the number provided. Apple has nothing to do with this or other, similar websites.

You have been redirected to Apple Support page scam

More about the "You have been redirected to Apple Support page" scam

This tech-support scam site poses as an official Apple Support page. When opened, it displays a pop-up window stating that the Mac computer is infected with a "Popup Adware Virus" installed through a file that was downloaded from an untrustworthy source.

It is also stated that this page has detected excessive pop-up ads and security issues that could be caused by downloaded malware or spyware. Visitors are encouraged to chat with Apple Support immediately. When the pop-up is closed, this tech-support scam page displays the "1-877-390-8999" number on a background image.

This number is disguised as an Apple Support reference. It also enables a chat window called "Official Apple Support" or "24/7 Customer Support". If contacted through this chat window, scammers will probably encourage visitors to call the aforementioned number.

They then claim to be members of customer support and try to convince people to pay for dubious software or unnecessary services, which supposedly remove detected viruses or solve other problems. Do not trust these scam pages or call the numbers displayed on them. If your browser opens such a page, close it immediately and never return to it.

More about applications that promote pop-up scams

These websites are often opened by unwanted applications that are installed on the browser or operating system. Additionally, apps of this type display unwanted ads and gather data. They feed users with coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.

If clicked, these open web pages such as this tech-support scam or other untrustworthy sites, or they cause download/installation of other, potentially malicious apps. Rogue apps also collect information relating to users' browsing habits. For example, IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of opened web pages, entered search queries, and so on.

Developers share the details with other parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse them to generate revenue. In some cases, gathered/shared details include personal, sensitive information.

Threat Summary:
Name You have been redirected to Apple Support page pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim According to this tech-support scam, the computer is infected with adware and malware.
Related Domain applesupportofficial[.]com, apple-techs[.]com
Serving IP Address (applesupportofficial[.]com)
Detection Names (applesupportofficial[.]com) Fortinet (Spam), Sophos AV (Malicious), Spamhaus (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number 1-877-390-8999
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

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Similarities with other technical support scams

There are many other scam pages that are similar to this one, including, for example, GoToAssist Tech Support Scam, apple.com-scan-mac[.]live, and apple.com-shield[.]live. Typically, they are used to trick people into contacting scammers, who then try to extort money or encourage them to download dubious software (paid or free).

In any case, these sites cannot be trusted, and all statements about 'detected viruses' are false. Apps that force browsers to open these sites are all very similar. They display ads, gather data, and cause redirects to dubious web pages. If there are unwanted apps installed on your browser or computer, uninstall them immediately.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

People often download and install programs without checking the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings available in the set-ups. I.e., the fail to dismiss offers to download/install additionally-included, unwanted applications. This how unwanted apps receive permissions to be downloaded and/or installed.

This marketing method is called "bundling" - developers use it to trick people into downloading and installing shady apps with other software by including unwanted apps in set-ups and hiding related information. In other cases, people cause unwanted downloads/installations by clicking deceptive ads that run scripts designed to download or install malicious software.

How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?

The safest way to download files or programs is using official websites and direct download links. Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule and other such tools), third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites and other sources of this type should not be trusted. Install and download software properly, especially if it is free.

If a setup contains any "Custom", "Advanced", or other settings, check them carefully and dismiss offers to download or install unwanted programs. Avoid clicking intrusive ads, since many are deceptive, lead to untrustworthy web pages, and cause unwanted downloads/installations.

To stop the browser from opening dubious web pages and/or showing ads, uninstall all unwanted, unknown or suspicious extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons.

The same applies to unwanted programs installed on the operating system. Once this is done, the problem should be solved. If your computer is already infected with rogue apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the first pop-up:

Dear : Apple Customer,

You have been redirected to Apple Support page because your Mac is infected with Popup Adware Virus due to download's from untrusted source.

We have noticed excessive POPUP ADS or SECURITY ISSUES on your Mac computer!

It could be because of a possible MALWARE or SPYWARE download.


Please note your CASE ID is: AP11S50-qch8nt


Screenshot of a web page with a fraudulent "Official Apple Support" chat pop-up:

You have been redirected to Apple Support scam second page

Text in this window:

Welcome To Apple Support
We’re here to help. Call or chat with us
Support for following Apple® products

Apple Watch Support
iPhone Support
iPad Support
Mac Support
Apple ID Support

iTunes Support
Contact Expert Support
How can we help you?
Get support by phone, chat, or email, set up a repair, or make a Genius Bar appointment.
Call 1-877-390-8999 or Chat With Us

Appearance of "You have been redirected to Apple Support page" tech-support scam (GIF):

appearance of the You have been redirected to Apple Support page technical support scam in gif

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

A pop-up scam is a fake message (e.g., a fake error notification or a virus alert) displayed by an untrustworthy website designed to trick users into performing certain actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Scammers use pop-up scams to lure people into providing personal information, downloading (and executing) malware, paying money for fake or unnecessary services or software, providing remote access to their computers, etc.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Websites that show deceptive pop-up messages usually get opened via illegal movie streaming pages, torrent sites, and other websites that use rogue advertising networks. Also, they can be opened via notifications from dubious pages, untrustworthy advertisements, and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan visited pages and detect malicious ones, including websites that display fake/deceptive pop-up messages. It warns users about untrustworthy pages and restricts access to such pages.

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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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