Ignore the "Your MAC has been blocked due to suspicious activity!" scam
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "Your MAC has been blocked due to suspicious activity!" scam?
Typically, scammers behind technical support scams claim to offer legitimate technical support services. Their websites display fake virus notifications stating that the device is infected with a virus or there is another problem that needs to be solved immediately.
The main purpose of such scams is to trick unsuspecting users into calling the provided number and then paying money for some unnecessary software, services, or providing remote access to a computer. It is noteworthy that users do not visit technical support scam websites on purpose.
Usually, these pages get opened through shady advertisements, websites, or installed potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
This scam website displays a fake virus notification stating that visitor's a computer has been blocked due to suspicious activity and infected with viruses and other malicious applications. It urges to call the 1855-948-3710 number to remove viruses immediately and claims that closing this website will leave the computer damaged and vulnerable.
Usually, scammers behind technical support scams attempt to trick users into paying money for unnecessary and (or) fake software or services, or providing remote access to their computers. It is important to know that scammers may use the provided remote access to steal personal or financial information (e.g., credit card details, social security numbers, login credentials) or infect computers with malware (e.g., ransomware, trojan), or install other unwanted software (e.g., cryptocurrency miner, adware).
It is worthwhile to mention that most technical support scam websites are disguised as official Apple, Microsoft or other company websites. In one way or another, these pages have to be ignored - all the virus, error notifications that they display are fake.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, it is uncommon for technical support scam pages and other deceptive sites to be visited intentionally. Usually, these pages are promoted via other sites of this kind, deceptive ads, or PUAs. PUAs can be designed to collect browsing data and other information and generate advertisements as well.
It is common that they target Internet Protocol addresses, addresses of visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations, etc. In some cases, apps of this kind can access sensitive information (like credit card details, passwords).
Moreover, collected information may be sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), or monetized in other ways. Examples of ads that PUAs generate are coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads.
The problem with those ads is that they promote questionable sites. In some cases, they can cause downloads, installations of unwanted applications by running certain scripts.
|Name||Your MAC has been blocked due to suspicious activity! technical suport scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus|
|Fake Claim||Mac computer is blocked and infected with viruses and other malicious application|
|Detection Names||Fortinet (Malware), Kaspersky (Phishing), Netcraft (Malicious), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address||220.127.116.11|
|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.
In conclusion, scammers behind technical support scams try to extract money, obtain information that could be used to steal identities, make unauthorized purchases, transactions, etc., or distribute malicious software. More examples of similar scams are "We Have Detected A Potential Risk Of Unsecured Connection", "Mac OS Alert", and "Mac Repair Center".
What most of them have in common is that they are designed to look like legitimate websites and provide a number to contact scammers who pretend to be technicians from well-known companies.
Another common thing is that users cannot close these pages without closing the whole browser via Activity Monitor. It is advisable not to restore the previously closed session after closing untrustworthy websites via Activity Monitor.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
It is very common for PUAs to be distributed by bundling them with other programs. In other words, by offering to download or install PUAs in downloaders, installers for other programs.
Usually, those offers can be declined before finishing downloads, installations. Users can do it by changing "Advanced", "Manual", "Custom", or other settings, or by unticking ticked checkboxes that mention additional downloads, installations.
When users download, install programs that are bundled with PUAs without making any of those changes, they agree to download, install those apps. Sometimes users cause unwanted downloads, installations by clicking advertisements that are capable of running certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is not recommended to trust applications, files downloaded from unofficial websites through torrent clients, eMule, and other Peer-to-Peer networks, via third-party downloaders, or use third-party installers to install any apps. It is common that the aforementioned sources or tools are used to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious files, apps.
Software and files should be downloaded through direct links and from official websites (or App Store). Furthermore, downloaders and installers with "Custom", "Advanced," (or other settings), or ticked checkboxes should be checked for additionally included apps.
Those apps should be declined before finishing downloads, installations. Advertisements on questionable pages should not be trusted as well.
Those ads can be designed to promote shady pages, potentially malicious apps. Unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons, plug-ins installed on a browser or programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be removed/uninstalled.
If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.
Text in the first pop-up window:
Your MAC has been blocked due to suspicious activity! Please call Support Now!. Call 1855-948-3710 (Toll Free) To find right solution.
Are you sure you want to leave this page?
[Leave Page][Stage On Page]
Screenshot of the second pop-up window on this page:
Text in this pop-up window:
MAC OS X is infeted with Viruses and other malicious applications.
Viruses must be removed and system damage repaired.
It is necessary to run the Virus removal procedure immediately, please proceed.
**If you leave this site your Mac OS X will remain damaged and vulnerable**
Call Apple Helpline 1855-948-3710 (Toll Free)
[Back To Safe][Leave Page]
Instant automatic Mac malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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:
- What is Your MAC has been blocked due to suspicious activity! technical suport scam?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
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:
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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