How to recognize scams like Update your Chrome browser extension

Also Known As: Update your Chrome browser extension pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is Update your Chrome browser extension scam?

This website claims that users should update an unspecified Chrome browser extension before continuing browsing the Internet. It encourages visitors to click the "Add to Chrome" button to update that extension. The purpose of this pop-up scam is to trick visitors into installing adware, browser hijackers, and other potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).

Update your Chrome browser extension scam pop-up redirects

Update your Chrome browser extension scam in detail

This page delivering this pop-up scam is disguised as a legitimate page offering to install verified updates for a Chrome browser extension. It opens download pages for adware-type apps, browser hijackers. It is important to know that such pages can be used to trick visitors into installing malware on their computers or browsers.

Threat Summary:
Name Update your Chrome browser extension pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Installed browser extension might be out of date
Disguise Website offering updates verified by Google
Distributed Unwanted Apps Adware, browser hijackers, potentially malicious apps
Related Domain restoreswiftgreatlythefile[.]vip
Detection Names (restoreswiftgreatlythefile[.]vip) 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.
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Pop-up scams in general

Examples of similar scams are "TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME", "You are using an older version of Edge", "IP Address & Personal Information Might Be Exposed". These pages often use scare tactics to trick visitors into performing certain actions.

Users end up on these pages mostly through other pages that use questionable advertising networks, or these pages get opened by installed adware. Either way, users do not open websites delivering pop-up scams (or similar pages) on purpose.

How did adware install on my computer?

Usually, adware is distributed via downloaders and installers for other software (by bundling it with other software), shady ads, fake installers. Unwanted downloads and installation happen when users download and install software without changing "Custom", "Advanced", or other settings available in certain downloaders and installers.

Advertisements download or install adware when designed to run certain scripts, and users click on them. These ads usually appear on untrustworthy websites. Fake installers are promoted using shady websites too.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Do not click on ads appearing on torrent sites, pages related to adult dating, gambling, etc. Download software and files from official pages and avoid using other sources (like unofficial pages, third-party downloaders, P2P networks). Also, do not download or install programs until any unwanted (optional) downloads and installations are deselected.

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 Update your Chrome browser extension scam website (GIF):

Update your Chrome browser extension scam website appearance (GIF)

Text in this pop-up scam:

Before you continue
Update your Chrome browser extension; it may be out of date. By clicking Continue below, you will be redirected to the Chrome Store where you can update the Search Verified Chrome browser extension. If you do not already have this browser extension, you will be able to download it, or navigate away to your destination. This extension will offer you a safer web search experience by giving you control to search with a variety of providers.

Verified by Google Chrome.

Instant Results.

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Quick menu:

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

A pop-up scam is a deceptive message (for example, a fake virus or error alert) designed to trick users into performing certain actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Scammers use pop-up scams for various purposes. Most scammers attempt to trick users into infecting computers with malware, providing personal information, paying for unnecessary (or fake) software, services.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Pop-up scams usually are delivered by untrustworthy websites. These pages get opened through other sites that use questionable advertising networks or through installed potentially unwanted (or even malicious) apps.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan websites and detect malicious ones (including pages displaying pop-up scams). It warns users about untrustworthy websites and restricts access to them.

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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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