How to spot scams like "Aura Antivirus Protection" pop-up scam

Also Known As: Aura Antivirus Protection scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of site runs the "Aura Antivirus Protection" pop-up scam?

Upon inspection, it has been discovered that this website displays deceptive messages, such as fake warnings, which falsely claim that a computer is infected and that antivirus software is unregistered. These messages are entirely fraudulent and should not be trusted.

Aura was made aware of misleading, fear-mongering tactics being used by an affiliate marketer. The company neither issued nor approved these tactics.

Aura Antivirus Protection scam

"Aura Antivirus Protection" pop-up scam overview

First of all, it is important to note that users do not intentionally visit pages that display fake pop-ups or any other false messages.

This site runs a fake system scan and then shows a message claiming that a PC is infected with five viruses. The message also states that antivirus software is not registered and prompts visitors to click "DELETE VIRUSES" and complete the registration process to remove all "detected" viruses.

When visitors click on the "DELETE VIRUSES" button, the page takes them to another website that contains an affiliate's ID in its URL. This indicates that the page displaying false messages is owned by affiliates who receive a commission when individuals buy antivirus software (Aura Antivirus) through their web page.

Legitimate companies do not use deceptive pages to promote their products or services. Thus, sites that claim that a computer is infected and urge to purchase antivirus software should not be trusted.

Threat Summary:
Name Aura Antivirus Protection scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim A computer is infected, antivirus software is not registered
Disguise Legitimate page promoting Aura antivirus software
Related Domain syncrecenthighlyinfo-file[.]info
Detection Names (syncrecenthighlyinfo-file[.]info) N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Similar scams in general

There are many websites on the Internet that employ deceptive tactics (e.g., fear tactics) to trick visitors into purchasing legitimate antivirus software. These websites typically display fake virus or security alerts that warn visitors of a supposed threat to their computer.

The purpose of these fake alerts is to convince the visitor to purchase and download the promoted antivirus software. Examples of similar scams are "Surfshark - Your PC Is Infected With 5 Viruses!", "Norton Security - Your PC Might Be Infected With Viruses!", and "Your Computer May Be At Risk With An Expired McAfee License".

How did I open a scam website

You may have clicked on a link that appeared to be legitimate but was actually a malicious link that led you to a scam website. Also, you may have mistyped the URL of the website you intended to visit, which led you to a scam website instead.

In some cases, scammers set up fake ads or pop-ups on legitimate or untrustworthy websites that, when clicked, redirect you to a scam website. Advertising-supported apps can also be used to promote scams. Either way, users do not open scam sites on purpose.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Be wary of unsolicited emails or pop-ups. Do not click on links or download files from unknown sources. Double-check the URL of the website you intend to visit to ensure that it is legitimate and not a scam site. Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks or clicking ads on shady pages.

Also, do not agree to receive notifications from questionable web pages. 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 "Aura Antivirus Protection" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Aura Antivirus Protection scam

Message displayed by this site:


Aura Antivirus Protection

Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!


Your antivirus software is not registered.

To remove all detected viruses, you must register and update the antivirus software.

Click 'DELETE VIRUSES' then on the next page complete the registration of your antivirus software.


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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?

A pop-up scam is an online scam that uses pop-up windows to trick users into performing certain actions. These pop-ups often appear as windows that suddenly appear on a user's screen, typically while browsing the internet.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

The objective of scammers behind pop-up scams is to acquire the user's personal information, such as login credentials or credit card details, or to infect their device with malware. Also, they may try to earn illegitimate commissions, extract money, or perform other actions.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Shady websites are the source of pop-up scams, and most users do not access them directly. Instead, users are redirected to these sites through rogue applications, advertisements, notifications from dubious pages, or when visiting a website that uses questionable advertising networks.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner can scan every website you visit and identify any malicious sites, including those created to deliver pop-up scams. Upon detection, Combo Cleaner will issue an immediate warning and restrict access to these harmful 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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