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Do not trust the "Your device might have security issues" scam sites

Also Known As: Your device might have security issues pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Your device might have security issues" scam?

"Your device might have security issues" is a scam run on various deceptive websites. Much as its name implies, this scheme claims that users' systems may be at risk and offer to prepare a list of recommended applications, which will supposedly secure the device.

This scam aims to promote a phishing website targeting financial data. Additionally, it tricks users into enabling the rogue site's browser notifications, which are used to run intrusive advertisement campaigns.

Untrustworthy websites are seldom accessed intentionally; most users get redirected to them by intrusive ads or installed PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). These apps do not need explicit permission to infiltrate systems, so users may be unaware of their presence.

Your device might have security issues scam

When a webpage promoting the "Your device might have security issues" scheme is accessed, visitors are presented with a message which alerts them that their system may be at risk. The site claims to be preparing a list of recommended applications that, it is implied, will resolve the issues.

To access the list, visitors are asked to press "Allow". Once this button is clicked, it simultaneously redirects to the phishing website and enables browser notifications.

The "Your device might have security issues" scam may promote different phishing webpages; however, the one it redirected to at the time of research - targeted finance-related data. Phishing sites operate by recording the information entered into them, e.g., names, surnames, addresses, telephone numbers, bank account details, credit card numbers, and so forth.

The scammers can use this data to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. The promoted website was presented as a weekly subscription sign-up page for device security software. Hence, it is not unlikely that by trusting it - victims will register for a bogus service that extracts weekly payments from their provided credit cards.

As mentioned previously, by pressing "Allow" in the initial scam webpage - users will enable it to deliver intrusive advert campaigns. The ads delivered by such sites are more than just a nuisance; they also pose a threat to device/user safety. Intrusive advertisements promote sale-based pages (of both legitimate and fraudulent products), rogue, untrustworthy, misleading, compromised, deceptive/scam, and malicious websites.

Furthermore, some of these adverts can stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs) - when they are clicked on. To summarize, by trusting the "Your device might have security issues" scheme, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

PUAs appear legitimate and offer "handy" functionalities, which are rarely operational. Unwanted applications often have heinous abilities, and these functions can be in different combinations. Some PUAs can force-open various unreliable, deceptive, and malicious sites. Adware-types run intrusive advertisement campaigns.

The ads displayed by these apps seriously diminish the browsing experience, endorse dangerous websites, and may infiltrate harmful software into systems. Browser hijackers are another type of PUAs. They cause redirects to fake search engines through modifications to browser settings.

The promoted search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate ones. Most PUAs (regardless of type) can track data. Targeted information includes: browsing and search engine histories, IP addresses, personally identifiable details, and so on.

The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties, likewise intent on misusing it for profit. Therefore, it is strongly advised to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Your device might have security issues pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam claims users' devices may not be secure
Related Domains nomore-spam[.]com, and many others
Serving IP Address (nomore-spam[.]com) 104.21.60.228
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 (Windows)

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The Internet is rife with deceptive content. There are thousands of untrustworthy webpages that use a wide variety of techniques and models to generate revenue user expense.

It is noteworthy that no website can detect threats or issues present on visitors' devices; hence, any that make claims of this kind are scams - "Your device is infected with a spam virus", "Firewall Spyware Alert", and "Suspicious movement distinguished on you IP" are a few examples of such schemes.

Other popular scam types are fake giveaways/raffles/lotteries and unbelievably profitable deals; "You Are Our Winner Today!", "Onlinemart Reward", and "Binance Giveaway" schemes use this model. Due to how widespread scams are online, it is highly recommended to exercise caution when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download pages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam websites. These applications can also be downloaded/installed together with other software. "Bundling" is the name of this false marketing method - packing ordinary programs with unwanted or malicious additions.

These supplements can be hidden within the "Advanced/Custom" settings or left unmentioned entirely. Therefore, rushed downloads/installations (e.g., skipped steps, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the adverts can execute scripts to download/install this software without user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources.

Dubious download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer bundled and dangerous content.

When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive ads appear legitimate and harmless; however, they redirect to various unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others).

In case of encounters with such advertisements and/or redirects, the system must be checked and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the "Your device might have security issues" scam:

Security


Personalization Security Access settings
Settings and recommendations to protect your device


Your device might have security issues. Preparing the list of recommended applications.


Click Allow to procced to the recommended App


Your device
You are using following devices:
Desktop this device

The appearance of "Your device might have security issues" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Your device might have security issues scam

IMPORTANT NOTE! This deceptive site asks to enable web browser notifications.

Therefore, before commencing, perform these steps:

Google Chrome (PC):

  • Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen
  • Select "Settings", scroll down to the bottom and click "Advanced"
  • Scroll down to the "Privacy and security" section, select "Content settings" and then "Notifications"
  • Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)

Disable pop-up' notifications in Google Chrome web browser

Google Chrome (Android):

  • Click on the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and click "Settings"
  • Scroll down, click on "Site settings" and then "Notifications"
  • In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and click on them one-by-one
  • Select "Notifications" in the "Permissions" section and set the toggle button to "OFF"

Disable pop-up' notifications in Android Google Chrome web browser

Mozilla Firefox:

  • Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen
  • Select "Options" and click on "Privacy & Security" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen
  • Scroll down to the "Permissions" section and click the "Settings" button next to "Notifications"
  • In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select "Block"

Disable pop-up' notifications in Mozilla Firefox web browser

Internet Explorer:

  • Click the Gear button on the right upper corner of the IE window
  • Select "Internet options"
  • Select the "Privacy" tab and click "Settings" under "Pop-up Blocker" section
  • Select suspicious URLs under and remove them one by one by clicking the "Remove" button

Disable pop-up' notifications in Internet Explorer web browser

Microsoft Edge:

  • Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window and select "Settings"
  • Click on "Site permissions" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen and select "Notifications"
  • Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL under "Allow" section and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)

Disable pop-up notifications in Microsoft Edge web browser

Safari (Mac):

  • Click "Safari" button on the left upper corner of the screen and select "Preferences..."
  • Select the "Websites" tab and then select "Notifications" section on the left pane
  • Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option for each

Disable pop-up' notifications in Safari web browser

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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 Windows.

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 Windows) - 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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