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Avoid getting scammed by sites claiming "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!"

Also Known As: Keep Your PC Updated With Norton! pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!"?

While inspecting rogue webpages, we discovered the "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!" scam. This scheme implies that the user's system may be infected and is at risk, and urges them to keep their Norton anti-virus subscription up-to-date.

At the time of research, this scam redirected to the official website of Norton. However, it must be emphasized that this promotion via "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!" is not undertaken or approved by NortonLifeLock Inc.

Keep Your PC Updated With Norton! scam

"Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!" scam overview

When we found this scam, it was promoted on the gapscult[.]com webpage. This scheme consisted of multiple pop-up windows.

The topmost pop-up encouraged the visitor to keep their Norton subscription updated - because a lack of protection makes the device vulnerable to various threats. This statement in and of itself is not incorrect - however, the information provided by the rest of the pop-up windows is false and merely meant to trick visitors into believing the scam.

We have analyzed countless schemes (e.g., "Kaspersky - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!", "Windows Firewall Protection - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!", etc.) using practically identical graphic elements (e.g., fake system scans and threat reports) to those used by "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!".

During our inspection of this scam, it promoted the actual website of Norton anti-virus. As mentioned in the introduction, endorsement of this kind is neither associated nor approved by the actual developers (e.g., NortonLifeLock, etc.). Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers who abuse a product's affiliate programs to acquire illegitimate commissions.

It must be mentioned that scams of this type rarely promote legitimate content; they are most commonly used to spread fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and various PUAs. We have also noted cases where such deception is used to scare victims into inadvertently downloading/installing malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.).

Therefore, although "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!" endorsed genuine content when we inspected it, there are no guarantees that this scam will not be used to promote untrustworthy or malicious software in the future.

In summary, by trusting scams like "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!" - users may experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Keep Your PC Updated With Norton! pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Norton anti-virus subscription needs to be updated to protect the system.
Related Domains gapscult[.]com, updatecontrolpanel[.]com, playercompany[.]quest, securtytrk[.]xyz
Detection Names (gapscult[.]com) Fortinet (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (gapscult[.]com) 139.45.197.152
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

We have analyzed thousands of online scams; "Norton Security Update Is Available Now", "McAfee Total Protection has expired", "Your phone is severly damaged by viruses", and "Mcafee - Security Warning" are just a few examples of those thematically similar to "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!".

The Internet is rife with misleading, deceptive, and malicious content. Therefore, we strongly advise exercising caution when browsing. Additionally, all downloads must be performed only from official and verified channels - to avoid supporting scammers and/or installing fake/malicious applications.

How did I open a scam website?

Deceptive websites are seldom accessed intentionally. They can be entered via pages using rogue advertising networks - as they can force-open scam sites when accessed or when hosted content (e.g., advertisements, buttons, links, etc.) is clicked.

Spam browser notifications and intrusive advertisements are used to promote online scams as well. Mistyping a URL can also result in a redirect to a deceptive webpage. Adware can display ads promoting scams or force-open pages that run them.

How to avoid visiting scam websites?

Scam sites are typically promoted through redirects caused by pages using rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware.

Therefore, we advise against using websites that offer pirated content or other questionable services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.) since they use rogue advertising networks.

Additionally, we recommend being careful when typing URLs. To avoid receiving undesirable browser notifications, do not click "Allow", "Allow Notifications", or similar options presented on suspicious webpages. Instead, ignore or deny notification delivery (i.e., press "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

We also advise researching software and only downloading from official/verified sources. Furthermore, when installing, it is important to read terms, study possible options, and use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out of all supplements.

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 "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!" scam pop-up:

Norton Security


Keep Your PC Updated with Norton!


UPDATE:


Protection from potential malware is important.


Keep Your Norton Subscription Updated.


If your PC is not protected, it is at risk for viruses and other malware.


[Proceed...]

The appearance of "Keep Your PC Updated With Norton!" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Keep Your PC Updated With Norton! scam (GIF)

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:
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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?

Pop-up scams are essentially deceptive messages intended to entice/scare users into performing certain actions. For example, victims can be tricked into downloading/installing and/or purchasing software, making monetary transactions, disclosing private information, and so on.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Scams are designed to profit at victims' expense. Pop-up scams may generate revenue through funds obtained by deception, abuse or sale of personal information, commissions from product promotion, malware proliferation, etc.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Pop-up scams are promoted on various rogue websites. Most users enter such pages via redirects caused by sites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner is designed to scan visited websites and detect rogue, deceptive, and malicious ones. Additionally, Combo Cleaner can restrict all further access to such sites.

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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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