What kind of scam is "Windows Firewall Has Detected That Your Windows Is Damaged And Irrelevant"?
It is a pop-up scam (a fake Windows warning) claiming that the operating system is damaged. Scammers use it to trick website visitors into downloading deceptive (potentially malicious) applications. We discovered this site while inspecting other pages that use rogue advertising networks. Typically, pages running pop-up scams are opened unintentionally.
"Windows Firewall Has Detected That Your Windows Is Damaged And Irrelevant" pop-up scam in detail
The fake system warnings displayed by this scam website claim that Windows security has detected that the system is corrupted and outdated. They state that all files will be deleted after the timer runs out. Also, they instruct visitors to click the "Update" button/follow the instructions to install the latest software and prevent files from being deleted.
After clicking the "Update" button, visitors are redirected to websites promoting deceptive apps. Those pages promote browser hijackers, adware, or other untrustworthy software. Some of the promoted apps can be designed to run fake system scans (and detect fake issues/errors/viruses) to trick users into paying for their registration/activation.
|Windows Firewall Has Detected That Your Windows Is Damaged And Irrelevant fake message
|Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
|The operating system is corrupted and outdated
|Legitimate Microsoft page (Windows system warning)
|Distributed Unwanted Apps
|Various deceptive applications
|Detection Names (softland[.]icu)
|Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Heimdal Security (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|Serving IP Address (softland[.]icu)
|Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
|Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
|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
Websites running pop-up scams are disguised as legitimate sites. Usually, scammers behind them aim to trick visitors into purchasing software, paying for unnecessary (or fake) services, downloading and installing potentially malicious apps, or providing sensitive information. It is uncommon for such pages to be visited intentionally.
Examples of similar scams are "Pirated Windows Software Detected In This Computer", "DRIDEX..Malware detected - Error Code: DXRW2:#19X80XD", and "Your Computer Might Be Infected With Critical Viruses".
How did I open a scam website
Pop-up scams (websites running them) are promoted via illegal movie streaming, torrent, and other pages that use rogue advertising networks or shady advertisements. Also, they are promoted via notifications displayed by untrustworthy pages or adware-type apps. In all cases, users rarely open such scam pages on purpose.
How to avoid visiting scam pages?
Do not visit questionable pages or allow such pages to show notifications. Do not click on ads appearing on websites of this kind as well. Download apps and files from legitimate (official) pages and stores. Deselect optional (unwanted) offers/applications before finishing the download and installation processes.
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 Has Detected That Your Windows Is Damaged And Irrelevant" pop-up scam (GIF):
Text in the pop-up window:
Your Windows system is damaged
Windows Version: Windows 10
Please note: Windows security has detected that the system is corrupted and outdated. All system files will be deleted after: 0 seconds
Important: Click on the “Update” button to install the latest software to scan and prevent your files from being deleted.
Screenshot of the second pop-up window:
Text in this pop-up:
Windows Firewall has detected that your Windows 10 is damaged and irrelevant.
As a result, your system files are automatically deleted.
Please follow the instructions to fix the problem immediately. This way you will ensure that your system is always protected.
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 Has Detected That Your Windows Is Damaged And Irrelevant fake message?
- 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?
In most cases, it is a fake system warning, error notification, virus alert, or other deceptive message displayed by a deceptive page. Scammers use these scams to trick visitors into performing certain actions.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
It is used mainly to trick visitors into providing personal/sensitive information, downloading and executing malware, and transferring money (or paying for unnecessary/fake services or products). Also, a pop-up scam can be used to access computers remotely.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
These pop-ups are displayed on untrustworthy websites. Usually, these pages get opened via notifications from other shady pages, dubious advertisements, or pages that use rogue advertising networks (e.g., illegal movie streaming pages, torrent sites).
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner is designed to scan every website you visit, and it can detect malicious ones (including pages that show fake pop-ups). It warns users about untrustworthy pages and restricts access to them.