Avoid the 'Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!' scam

Also Known As: Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses! pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!"?

"Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!" is a scam created to promote/advertise a potentially unwanted application (PUA) called Cleanup My Mac

In fact, it might also be used to advertise other apps. These web pages are used to trick people into installing PUAs using deceptive methods. In any case, websites of this type and applications that are distributed through them cannot be trusted.

Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses! scam

At first, this scam displays a pop-up window stating that the Mac OS X operating system is infected with four viruses and is damaged. Visitors are encouraged not to ignore this warning and to clean the system from these viruses immediately.

Another pop-up states that detected viruses have already damaged 37.2% of the system, and unless they are removed immediately, they might damage system files, data, appendixes, and so on. Visitors are encouraged to click the "DOWNLOAD" button, which will then download the Cleanup My Mac program (the maccleaner.pkg file).

According to this scam page, the button should lead to download of MacCleaner (another unwanted application). Note that "Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!" could be used to promote various applications at different times. In any case, none of the applications advertised on these sites can be trusted.

Furthermore, all claims about 'detected viruses' are false. The best way to deal with these scam pages is to simply ignore and close them when they are opened.

In most cases, browsers open untrustworthy pages due to PUAs installed on the system, which force the websites to be opened. These apps can also display intrusive advertisements. For example, coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on. When clicked, they open untrustworthy (possibly malicious websites) or run scripts that download/install other unwanted apps.

Furthermore, apps of this type are often designed to gather information relating to users such as entered search queries, geolocations, IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, etc.

In some cases, PUAs also record personal, sensitive details. Developers share the data with third parties who misuse it to generate revenue. These third parties might include cyber criminals.

Threat Summary:
Name Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses! pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim According to this scam page, the visitor's computer is infected with four viruses.
Promoted Unwanted Application Cleanup My Mac
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
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 many other scam pages on the Internet. Some examples are "Tiptoptrack", "You Have Been Redirected To Apple Support Page", and "Flash Player Might Be Out Of Date". No matter what their purpose, they can never be trusted. PUAs that open them are usually advertised as legitimate apps that supposed provide various features or useful tools.

In fact, after installation, they deliver no real value. On the contrary, they simply help developers to generate revenue. This situation can lead to problems with privacy, browsing safety, and so on.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Typically, users do not download or install PUAs intentionally. This usually happens when they click dubious, deceptive ads or download and install various software. To trick people into unintentional downloads and installations, developers use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling".

They add unwanted apps into the set-ups of other, usually free programs. Information about these additional downloads or installations can usually be found in "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings.

Unfortunately, not all people check these setting and they fail to dismiss offers to download or install unwanted apps. Developers are aware of this and use it to their advantage.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Do not download programs using untrustworthy sources such as third party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule or other such tools), or other channels of this kind. Third party installers should not be used. The best way to download software is to use direct download links and official websites.

Check "Custom", "Advanced", and other options/settings of any download or installation setup and dismiss offers to download/install extra software (unwanted applications). Intrusive advertisements, especially those displayed on rogue pages (relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.) should not be clicked.

They can open potentially malicious websites or cause download/installation of unwanted apps. To stop the browser from displaying ads and/or opening dubious sites, remove suspicious, unknown or unwanted apps (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) that are installed.

If that does not solve the problem, it may be necessary to remove programs of this type that are installed on the operating system. 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 first page of the "Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!" scam:

Your Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses and Your system is damaged.
You must clean the system from viruses, as quick as possible!

** Do not ignore this warning **

Screenshot of the second page:

Your system is seriously damaged found (4) viruses second page

Text in this page:

Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!
We discovered that Your Mac OS is damaged on 37.2% and contains (4) viruses.
If you will not delete viruses right now, then it can result in the damage of system files, data, appendixes and etc.
You need to do (step by step):
Step 1: Push the button Download and get free antivirus app.
Step 2: Download MacCleaner and recover Your system!

Cleanup My Mac installer:

installation setup of Ceanup My Mac

Cleanup My Mac application:

Cleanup My Mac unwanted app

IMPORTANT NOTE! Cleanup My Mac adds itself to the list of applications that automatically run upon each user log in. Therefore, before commencing, perform these steps:

  • Go to System Preferences -> Users & Groups. 
  • Click your account (also known as Current User).
  • Click Login Items.
  • Look for the "Cleanup My Mac" entry.  Select it, and click the "-" button to remove it.

Cleanup My Mac PUA system preferences

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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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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