How to recognize scams asking to install an extension to continue
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME scam?
"TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME" is a deceptive message displayed by an untrustworthy website designed to trick users into downloading and installing adware, browser hijackers, and other potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Users end up on such pages mainly through websites that use rogue advertising networks.
TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME scam in detail
This page shows deceptive notifications and a pop-up claiming that visitors cannot continue loading a website (or complete some other action) without a specific browser extension. It is known that this page is used to promote adware called Pureweb and other adware-type and browser-hijacking apps.
|Name||TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME pop-up|
|Threat Type||Scam, Social Engineering|
|Fake Claim||Visitors need to install an extension to continue browsing the page|
|Detection Names||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Distributed Unwanted Apps||Pureweb and other adware, browser hijackers|
|Symptoms||Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scans.|
|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.
Similar pop-up scams in general
Websites like this one should be ignored. In some cases, they can be used to distribute malware. Typically, users open these pages by clicking shady ads and visiting other dubious pages. These pages are also promoted through adware and other PUAs.
More examples of websites displaying fake/deceptive notifications are "You Are Using An Older Version Of Edge", "You've Visited Illegal Infected Website", "Your Device Might Have Security Issues".
How did adware install on my computer?
Most PUAs are distributed through fake installers, software bundles (downloaders and installers for other software), or deceptive advertisements designed to run certain scripts. In the second case, unwanted apps in downloaders and installers are optional.
Users download or install those apps alongside other software when they download or install that software without changing "Custom", "Advanced", or other settings available in its installer (or downloader).
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Use legitimate/official websites to download files and programs. Do not trust third-party downloaders, unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks, and similar sources. Also, do not click on advertisements that appear on shady websites (torrent sites, adult dating pages, and similar sites).
Always check downloaders and installers for optional downloads and installations and deselect unwanted applications before downloading or installing software. If your computer is already infected with rogue applications, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Appearance of TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME scam website (GIF):
Text in this webiste:
Add extension to continue
Click Continue then Add extension to complete
TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME
Click Continue then Add extension to complete
By clicking the button below you will be prompted to add the extension.
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 TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME 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 fake/deceptive message designed to trick users into performing certain actions. Usually, it claims that a user needs to install some software, call the provided number, remove malware, fix errors, etc.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Most pop-up scams are used to trick unsuspecting users into infecting their computers with malware, providing remote access to their computers, providing sensitive information.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Usually, pop-up scams are displayed by websites that users open unintentionally. Users open those pages by visiting other pages that use questionable advertising networks. Also, pages delivering pop-up scams can be promoted through adware or other dubious software.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner is designed to scan all websites users visit and detect malicious ones (including pages that display pop-up scams). This app warns about shady websites immediately and restricts access to them.
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