What is "Your System Is Seriously Damaged"?
It is a fake pop-up message (a fake virus warning) displayed by a deceptive website. After examining this page, our team concluded that it uses a scare tactic to trick visitors into downloading and adding extensions to browsers (or installing untrustworthy applications on computers). We discovered this scam page while inspecting other pages of this kind.
"Your System Is Seriously Damaged" pop-up scam overview
The page running this scam is disguised as a legitimate Microsoft website (it also contains logos of legitimate antivirus solutions). It shows a deceptive message claiming that the operating system is infected with seven viruses. It urges visitors to remove those viruses to protect personal and banking data.
Also, this website has the "REMOVE VIRUS" button and a countdown timer showing how much time has been left until the system is completely damaged. After clicking the "REMOVE VIRUS" button, a download page for an application called OneBlock pop-ups up in a smaller window.
|Name||Your System Is Seriously Damaged scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||The operating system is seriously damaged (infected with viruses)|
|Disguise||Legitimate Microsoft website|
|Distributed Unwanted Apps||OneBlock and possibly other apps|
|Detection Names (tandrogif[.]com)||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.
Similar scams in general
Websites running pop-up scams (showing fake warnings or other messages) usually are disguised as legitimate pages. They are used to promote shady software, extract money or personal information from unsuspecting users, obtain remote access to computers, or even distribute malware.
How did I open a scam website
Most websites running pop-up scams are promoted via untrustworthy advertisements and web pages that use rogue advertising networks (e.g., illegal movie streaming pages, torrent sites, etc.). Users do not open these sites on purpose. Advertising-supported apps and notifications from dubious pages can also be used to promote websites showing fake/deceptive pop-ups.
How to avoid visiting scam pages?
Do not trust advertisements and links on suspicious websites (or notifications from pages of this kind). Download apps from official pages and stores only. Read reviews before downloading apps (avoid downloading apps with no or few reviews).
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 "Your System Is Seriously Damaged" pop-up scam (GIF):
Text on this scam page:
Your system is seriously damaged, (7) viruses detected!
03 January 2023
We found that your Windows 10 is 68.2% corrupted and contains (7) viruses.
If you do not remove the viruses now, it will corrupt the system files, user files and applications.
Personal and banking data at risk!
What you need to do (step by step):
Step 1: Click REMOVE VIRUS button and download the extension for free right now!
Step 2: Install and run the system restore application!
Time left before the system is completely damaged: -
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:
- What is Your System Is Seriously Damaged 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?
It is a fake/deceptive website displayed by an untrustworthy website (e.g., a website claiming that a computer is infected).
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Websites showing fake messages usually are created to extract personal information (e.g., credit card details), money or to promote shady applications. Also, scammers can use them to trick users into providing remote access to their computers.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pages showing fake pop-ups get opened via dubious ads, pages that use rogue advertising networks, notifications from untrustworthy websites, etc. Users do not visit websites that show fake pop-ups intentionally.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner can detect malicious websites and pages that show fake pop-ups. It warns users about websites of this kind and restricts access to them.