How to stop redirects to Primechse scam websites

Also Known As: Primechse pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What are the Primechse sites?

Primechse is a group of deceptive websites promoting various scams. Sites belonging to this group have been observed promoting the "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor" scheme, however, they might also promote other scams and untrustworthy or malicious web pages.

Most visits to Primechse web pages occur via redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already infiltrated into the system.

Primechse scam

Online scams promoted by websites such as Primechse have just one purpose: to generate revenue for their designers. For example, the "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor" scheme uses the 'fake prize' scam model. This operates by claiming that users can win, or have won, a reward, which is nonexistent. 

Any information users are asked to provide to receive the prize is stolen (e.g. names, addresses, emails, banking account or credit card details, etc.). They might also be asked to make fraudulent monetary transactions such as to pay shipping fees for the fake reward, and so on. Therefore, do not trust Primechse or similar sites.

PUAs can force-open various deceptive/scam, untrusted, rogue, sale-based, compromised and malicious web pages, however, these applications can also have other capabilities. They can run intrusive ad campaigns. The delivered ads diminish the browsing experience (by limiting browsing speed and website visibility) and, once clicked, redirect to similarly dangerous sites.

Some intrusive advertisements can even be triggered (when clicked) to execute scripts to stealthily download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs). Other unwanted apps can modify browsers, restrict/deny access to their settings and promote fake search engines. Furthermore, most PUAs can track data.

They monitor users' browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect personal information derived from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This sensitive data is often shared with third parties, seeking to misuse it for financial gain - potentially, by putting it to criminal use.

To summarize, PUAs can cause browser/system infiltration and infections, lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To protect device integrity and user safety, remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Primechse pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Some variants claim users can win a prize.
Related Domains primechse14[.]live; primechse17[.]live
Detection Names (primechse14[.]live)
Fortinet (Spam), Spamhaus (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (primechse14[.]live)
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.
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DeranvizesChooseyourVoodoosrc and Seekanvdoo are some examples of deceptive/scam site families similar to Primechse. They often trick users into performing certain actions such as revealing personal information, making monetary transactions, calling fake and expensive support/service lines, downloading/installing or purchasing dubious or malicious content, and so on.

Popular scam models include fake prize giveaways, "incredible" offers/deals, alerts that software is outdated, warnings that the device infected and many others.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download pages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam sites, however, the most common PUA proliferation method is through the download/installation set-ups of other products. "Bundling" is the term used to define this deceptive marketing tactic of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions.

Rushing download and installation processes (e.g. skimming or ignoring terms, using presets, skipping steps and sections, etc.) endangers systems with potential infiltration and infections originating from bundled content. Intrusive ads also proliferate these applications - when clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All products should be researched prior to download/installation or purchase. Use only official and verified download sources. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders are untrusted and should be avoided.

Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, study all possible options. Use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive advertisements may seem legitimate normal and innocuous, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others).

If you encounter ads/redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately eliminate all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of the Primechse website promoting the "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Primechse scam (GIF)

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:
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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.

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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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