What is the "Pornographics Security Warning" scam?
"Pornographics Security Warning" is a technical support scam. It claims that due to questionable activity having been detected - users' devices were blocked. The goal of this scheme is to trick victims into contacting the scammers, and afterwards- abuse their trust to generate revenue at their expense.
Deceptive sites that promote scams are typically accessed via mistyped URLs, or redirects caused by rogue webpages, intrusive advertisements, or installed PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
"Pornographics Security Warning" scam overview
When a website running the "Pornographics Security Warning" scam is accessed, it presents visitors with multiple pop-up windows. This scheme urges users to call the scammers (described as "engineers") to resolve all issues and unblock their devices.
Tech support scams typically aim to lure victims into allowing them remote access to their machines. While all schemes aim to generate profit for their designers, how they achieve this - differs.
In scams like "Pornographics Security Warning", cyber criminals tend to request users to pay exorbitant fees for their "services". The fake services can include removing genuine security tools, pushing victims to purchase fake anti-viruses, or infecting systems with malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.).
Furthermore, users might be asked to disclose their personal and finance-related information - by simply stating it, writing it down (while the scammers pretend not to see it), or typing it into phishing sites. The "fees" to technical support scammers have to be paid via difficult to trace methods, like with digital currencies (e.g., cryptocurrencies, gift cards, etc.) or secretly shipped in packages. What is more successfully scammed victims are often targeted repeatedly.
To summarize, trusting the "Pornographics Security Warning" scam - can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Pornographics Security Warning tech support scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims that users' devices were blocked due to suspicious activity.|
|Disguise||Scam is disguised as an alert from Windows Defender.|
|Detection Names (winbluealert[.]ml)||Netcraft (Malicious), Spamhaus (Phishing), Fortinet (Spam), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Online scams in general
"Microsoft Windows Virus Alert", "Windows_Firewall_Protection_Alert", "Access to this pc has been blocked for security reasons" - are some examples of tech support scams.
The Internet is rife with deceptive and malicious content. Therefore, there are thousands of different scams online; popular ones include - fake virus and error warnings, outdated and missing software alerts, bogus giveaways and prize raffles, etc. Due to how widespread Internet scams are, it is strongly advised to exercise caution when browsing.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
As mentioned in the introduction, deceptive sites are commonly force-opened by PUAs infiltrated into users' devices. This software appears legitimate, yet it can perform undesirable/harmful activities (e.g., adware, browser hijackers, etc.).
Some PUAs have "official" promotional/download pages. These apps are also proliferated using the "bundling" marketing method - packing ordinary programs with various additions. Rushed downloads/installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive adverts spread PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the advertisements can stealthily download/install software.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software products and download only from official/verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc. - often offer bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out from all supplements. Intrusive ads appear legitimate, yet they redirect to various questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).
In case of encounters with such advertisements and/or redirects, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. 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 "Pornographics Security Warning" scam:
Pornographics Security warning
Windows was blocked due to questionable activity.
You need to contact us immediately so that our engineers can guide you through the removal process by phone.
PLEASE call us within the next 5 minutes to to avoid a complete malfunction of your computer.
Windows Defender - Pornographics Security warning
Threat detected: Pornographics Spyware
Windows was blocked due to questionable activity.
Contact Technical Support:
Windows Defender - Pornographics Security warning
** Windows was blocked due to questionable activity **
Please call us within the next 5 minutes to avoid this that your computer is turned off. The following data are steal.
> Facebook Login
> Credit card information
> Login to Email account
> Photos saved on this PC
You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can guide you through the removal process by phone. PLEASE call us within the next 5 minutes to to avoid a complete malfunction of your computer.
Contact the Windows hotline to wake up your computer.
If you shut down this page, access to your computer will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network
Call us free of charge at:
The appearance of "Pornographics Security Warning" pop-up scam (GIF):
Instant automatic 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 malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Pornographics Security Warning tech support 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 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a pop-up scam?
Pop-up scams are essentially deceptive messages, which are designed to trick victims into performing certain actions. For example, they may be lured to call hoax helplines, allow cyber criminals remote access to their devices, disclose private information, pay fake fees, and so on.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Pop-up scams typically aim to generate profit. Cyber criminals can do so by tricking victims into making monetary transactions, promoting untrustworthy and harmful software, using sensitive information for illegal activities, proliferating malware, and so forth.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pop-up scams are displayed on rogue sites, which are usually accessed inadvertently. Websites of this kind can be entered through mistyped URLs, redirects caused by other dubious webpages or intrusive ads. Furthermore, such sites can be force-opened by untrustworthy software installed onto the system.
I have allowed cyber criminals to remotely access my computer, what should I do?
First, you have to disconnect your device from the Internet, then uninstall any remote access programs you've installed per the cyber criminals' request (e.g., AnyDesk, TeamViewer, etc.). Lastly, you must use an anti-virus to perform a full system scan and remove all detected threats.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by a pop-up scam, what should I do?
If you have disclosed account credentials - change the passwords/passphrases of all potentially exposed accounts and contact their official support without delay. If you've provided other private data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the relevant authorities.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams and the malware they proliferate?
Combo Cleaner can scan the websites you visit and detect deceptive and malicious ones. It can also block further access to such sites. Additionally, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate most of the known malware infections. However, it is crucial to run a full system scan since high-end malicious software is usually hidden deep within systems.