Avoid getting scammed by sites stating TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected

Also Known As: TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is "TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected"?

"TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected" is a scam our research team discovered while inspecting sites promoted by spam browser notifications. This scheme is presented as a virus alert from Microsoft. It must be emphasized that it is in no way associated with the Microsoft Corporation or its products.

Furthermore, it is noteworthy that no website can detect threats/issues present on a system - hence, any that claim such are scams.

TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected scam

"TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected" scam overview

When we accessed a webpage running this scam, it closely resembled Microsoft's official website. Almost immediately, a pop-up window was displayed atop the page. This window was presented as Microsoft Defender's interface (referred to in the scam as "Windows Security App"), which proclaimed that vulnerabilities were detected on the system.

Without prompting, a fake system scan was displayed that resulted in the "detection" of five viruses. The bogus threat report listed the potential issues these infections can cause and urged using an anti-virus to remove the malware.

Scams of this type are usually employed to promote untrustworthy software like fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and various PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). In seldom cases, such schemes proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware under the guise of "useful" tools.

Additionally, this deceptive content can request payments for software activation, service registration or subscription, and similar.

Cyber criminals may ask for the transactions to be made using dubious payment gateways that operate as phishing sites (i.e., record the data typed into them). With information like credit card numbers in their possession - the criminals may be able to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.

Alternatively, the scammers may choose payment methods that are difficult/impossible to trace and reverse (e.g., cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, gift cards, etc.).

To summarize, victims of scams like "TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected" can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim System is infected with multiple viruses.
Disguise System scan/ threat reports from Microsoft.
Related Domains threatdetect[.]org
Detection Names (threatdetect[.]org) 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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Similar scam examples

The Web is full of deceptive and malicious content. Scams are common, and they use various models to gain and subsequently abuse users' trust.

We have analyzed thousands of online schemes; "Your Windows 10 is infected with viruses", "McAfee: SECURITY ALERT", "TO CONTINUE - ADD EXTENSION TO CHROME", and "Your McAfee Subscription Has Expired" are just a few examples of those similar to "TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected". Due to how widespread scams are, we strongly advise exercising caution when browsing.

How did I open a scam website?

We found a site promoting "TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected" through a spam browser notification. Users rarely access deceptive webpages intentionally, and such notifications are but one method that cyber criminals use to endorse them. Scam pages can be entered through mistyped URLs, and they are promoted via intrusive advertisements as well.

Websites that use rogue advertising networks can cause redirects to untrustworthy pages (including those that run scams). Adware is also known to push online scams. This software can display scam-endorsing ads or force-open deceptive sites.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

We advise against visiting websites that offer questionable services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.), as they commonly use rogue advertising networks, which in turn promote various online scams.

Deceptive content is also pushed by browser notification spam. Therefore, it is important not to consent to suspicious websites delivering them. Instead of clicking "Allow", "Allow Notifications", or similar options - ignore or deny notification delivery requests (i.e., press "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

To avoid installing adware (which likewise promotes scams), we recommend researching software and downloading only from official/trustworthy sources. Additionally, when installing, we advise reading terms, studying possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" options, and opting-out of all additions.

If your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate all threats.

Text presented in the "TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected" scam's pop-up:

Windows Firewall Protection

Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!

Scan results: TROJAN Zeus2021, spyware, adware detected.

- TROJAN found on this PC will most likely copy and delete all data from hard drives.

- Spyware will attempt to collect logins, passwords and banking details.

- Adware usually replaces search results with false and scammy websites.

It is highly recommended to use antivirus immediately!


Unprotected PCs are 93% more vulnerable to suffer from malware.

Screenshot of a browser notification promoting the "TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected" scam:

TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected scam promoted via a browser notification

The appearance of "TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of TROJAN Zeus2021 spyware adware detected scam (GIF)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

Pop-up scams are essentially messages intended to trick users into performing specific actions. For example, victims can be lured into downloading/installing software, disclosing private data, making monetary transactions, calling fake helplines, and so on.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Scams aim to generate revenue at their victims' expense. Scammers can profit by obtaining funds through deception, promoting (likely fake or harmful) applications, abusing or selling sensitive information, spreading malware, and so forth.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Pop-up scams are promoted on rogue websites, which users typically access inadvertently. Most visitors enter these sites through mistyped URLs or redirects caused by spam browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, webpages that use rogue advertising networks, or installed adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner scans the websites you visit, and it is capable of detecting malicious ones (including those that promote scams). Therefore, if you encounter such a site - you will be warned immediately, and access to it will be restricted.

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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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