What kind of scam is "Windows Firewall Protection - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!"?
It is a pop-up scam displayed by a deceptive website that our team has discovered while examining sites (illegal movie streaming, torrent, and similar sites) that use rogue advertising networks. We found that the purpose of this scam is to trick visitors into believing that their computers are infected and purchasing antivirus software.
"Windows Firewall Protection - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!" scam in detail
After analyzing the site, we learned that it is disguised as a legitimate Microsoft page and runs a fake system scan. After "scanning" the system, this site displays a list of fake virus detections. It claims that a computer is infected with five viruses (TROJAN Zeus2021, spyware, adware) and urges to remove them as soon as possible.
Scams like this can promote legitimate antivirus software. Affiliates use them to collect illegitimate commissions (to trick visitors into paying for software subscriptions through their page). However, scammers can also use such pages to trick users into purchasing fake software, infecting computers with malware, providing remote access to computers.
|Name||Windows Firewall Protection - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses! scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||A computer is infected with five viruses|
|Disguise||Legitimate virus notification from Microsoft|
|Related Domain||threatdetect[.]org, getpotectnow[.]click|
|Detection Names||Fortinet (Phishing), 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.
Similar scams in general
Typically, websites that use scare tactics (display fake virus, error or similar notifications) to promote legitimate or potentially malicious software are disguised as official Microsoft or other software company websites. Sometimes, similar scams display fake technical support numbers to trick visitors into calling scammers.
How did I open a scam website
In most cases, scam websites get opened through other untrustworthy pages, deceptive advertisements, fake "Download", or similar buttons, questionable applications, website notifications. In some cases, scammers use search engine poisoning techniques to promote their scams. In all cases, users do not visit such websites on purpose.
How to avoid visiting scam pages?
Do not trust advertisements displayed on shady websites or allow such pages to show notifications. Download applications from official pages and platforms. Check downloaders and installers for unwanted apps and deselect them before downloading and installing programs.
If your computer is already infected with unwanted apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
The appearance of "Windows Firewall Protection - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!" pop-up scam (GIF):
Text in this scam:
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 baking details.
- Adware usually replaces search results with false and scammy websites.
It is highly recommended to use an antivirus immediately!
Unprotected PCs are 93% more vulnerable to suffer from malware.
Another example of "Windows Firewall Protection" pop-up scam:
Text presented within:
Windows Firewall Protection
Your identity has been stolen!
Scan results: Spyware, TROJAn, adware detected.
- Spyware collects your logins, passwords, bank details and all sensitive data.
- TROJAN product found on this device will most likely collect all data from hard drives and then erase it to blackmail in the future.
- Adware replaces your search results with false websites for financial benefits.
It is highly recommended to protect your identity now!
Unprotected PCs are 93% more vulnerable to suffer from malware.
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:
- What is Windows Firewall Protection - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses! 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?
A pop-up scam is a message displayed by a deceptive website. In most cases, it claims that a computer is infected, hacked, or damaged in another way. Typically, websites delivering pop-up scams are disguised as legitimate sites.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Pop-up scams are used for different purposes. Usually, scammers attempt to trick visitors into providing sensitive information, granting remote access to computers, purchasing fake or unnecessary software/services, or even infecting computers with malware.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pop-up scams are delivered by websites that get opened by present malicious applications or other sites that use questionable advertising networks. Also, these pages can be promoted using search engine poisoning techniques.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner can scan websites and prevent you from visiting shady websites by restricting access to them. It can recognize sites that display pop-up scams too.