How to recognize scams like Avira - Your Pc May Have Been Infected?
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What kind of scam is Avira - Your Pc May Have Been Infected?
It is a pop-up scam designed to trick unsuspecting users into believing that the Avira virus detection engine has found items posing a threat to their computers. Typically, such scams fraudulently advertise legitimate software, ask users to install questionable software, pay money or provide personal information.
Avira - Your Pc May Have Been Infected scam in detail
This particular scam is very similar to the "Norton Subscription Has Expired Today" scam. It has nothing to do with Avira (a computer software company). It displays fake system scan summary suggesting that a computer may be infected. Scammers could be using this page to fraudulently advertise Avira security software.
This scam could also be used to extract credit card details or other banking information, promote adware or other unwanted apps, or encourage users to pay money for fake software/services. Either way, it must be ignored.
|Name||Avira - Your Pc May Have Been Infected pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||A computer may be infected|
|Disguise||Notification from Avira|
|Related Domain||webprotectionprogram[.]com, mydesktopsecurity[.]com, eternaldefence[.]com, yoursecuritydatabase[.]com, threatdetect[.]org, highpotencysoftware[.]com|
|Detection Names||N/A (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
Typically, users end up on pages running pop-up scams through shady ads, dubious pages, or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). It is very uncommon for such pages to be opened intentionally. More examples of similar scams are "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" and "Your ANTIVIRUS Subscription Has Expired".
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Users often download or install PUAs when they do not change "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings available in downloaders or installers for other programs. This distribution method is known as bundling. In other cases, users cause it via fake installers downloaded from shady pages or advertisements designed to run certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Download software (and files) only from legitimate/official websites. Do not use other sources to download files/programs or click on advertisements that shady websites have on them. Deselect unwanted applications before downloading or installing programs.
If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
The appearance of Avira - Your PC may have been infected scam (GIF):
Text presented in Avira - Your Pc May Have Been Infected pop-up scam:
Your PC may have been infected!
THREAT MUST BE PREVENTED!
Your Avira Subscription may have been expired!
Renew now to keep your pc protected.
If your PC is unprotected, it is at risk for viruses and other malware.
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 Avira - Your Pc May Have Been Infected pop-up?
- 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?
A pop-up scam is a fraudulent message claiming that users should remove malware, fix errors, update software, renew subscriptions, or perform other actions.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Scammers use pop-up scams to trick users into providing personal information, downloading files, installing malicious software, paying money for fake technical support.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
In most cases, pop-up scams are delivered by deceptive/untrustworthy web pages that users open unintentionally. Users end up on such pages through shady ads, websites or installed potentially unwanted applications.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner can detect websites that deliver pop-up scams and other untrustworthy pages. It warns users when they visit pages that are not safe and restricts access to them.
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