What kind of scam is "Your Identity Has Been Stolen!"?
Our researchers discovered the "Your Identity Has Been Stolen!" scam while investigating suspicious sites. The scheme falsely claims that the user's device is infected and that their identity has been stolen. Typically, scams of this kind are used to promote untrustworthy/harmful software or bogus security services.
"Your Identity Has Been Stolen!" scam overview
This scam is disguised as the McAfee anti-virus. First, the visitor is presented with a fake McAfee interface, which is quickly overlaid with a different pop-up – this one mimicking a system scan.
Multiple threats are allegedly detected on the visitor's device. The topmost pop-up lists and describes the infections as spyware, trojan, and adware. The scam also claims that the user's identity has been stolen. It urges them to protect it as well as their computer.
It must be emphasized that all these claims are false, and this deceptive content is in no way associated with the actual McAfee Corp. It must also be mentioned that no website can detect issues present on visitors' devices – hence, any that make such claims are scams.
In most cases, virus-type schemes are designed to endorse fake anti-virus tools, adware, browser hijackers, and PUAs. We have also found instances wherein these kinds of scams proliferated malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.).
Scammers may also use this fraudulent content to promote legitimate products and services in order to acquire illegitimate commissions.
To summarize, by trusting a scam like "Your Identity Has Been Stolen!" – users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|"Your Identity Has Been Stolen!" pop-up
|Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
|User's device is infected and their identity has been stolen.
|avgroup[.]click, generalprotection[.]click, getfreevpn[.]click
|Detection Names (avgroup[.]click)
|ESET (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|Serving IP Address (avgroup[.]click)
|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 scam examples
The Internet is rife with deceptive and malicious material. Various scam models are used to gain and subsequently abuse victims' trust.
We have analyzed thousands of online scams; "TROJAN_2023 And Other Viruses Detected (5)", "Your McAfee Subscription Is Out Of Date", and "McAfee - A Virus Has Been Found On Your PC!" are merely a couple examples of schemes akin to "Your Identity Has Been Stolen!".
How did I open a scam website?
Deceptive websites are predominantly accessed via redirects generated by sites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, and installed adware.
To elaborate on some of these – a scam page may be force-opened the moment a site that employs rogue advertising networks is accessed or when the content hosted by it is interacted with (e.g., clicking buttons, text input fields, ads, etc.). Adware can display advertisements that promote online scams and/or generate redirects to sites running them.
How to avoid visiting scam websites?
We strongly recommend being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears genuine and innocuous.
We advise against using websites offering pirated media/software or other questionable services (e.g., illegal streaming/downloading, Torrenting, etc.). These sites are typically monetized via rogue advertising networks, which commonly promote deceptive content.
Another recommendation is to pay attention to URLs and enter them with care – to avoid accessing fake webpages that rely on typos.
To avoid receiving unwanted browser notifications – do not permit suspicious websites to display them (i.e., do not click "Allow", "Allow Notifications", etc.). Instead, we advise ignoring or denying notification delivery requests (i.e., selecting "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).
To prevent bundled/harmful programs from infiltrating the system – research them and perform all downloads from official/verified sources. Additionally, when installing, it is important to read terms, study available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of all supplementary applications, extensions, tools, and so on.
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 "Your Identity Has Been Stolen!" pop-up:
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.
The appearance of "Your Identity Has Been Stolen!" pop-up scam (GIF):
Example of Avast-themed "Your Identity Has Been Stolen!" pop-up scam:
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 "Your Identity Has Been Stolen!" pop-up?
- 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?
Pop-up scams are messages intended to deceive users into performing specific actions. For example, victims can be tricked into calling fake support lines, disclosing sensitive information, making monetary transactions, allowing cyber criminals to access devices remotely, downloading/installing software, purchasing products, subscribing to services, and so forth.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
The goal of pop-up scams is to generate revenue for their developers. Scammers primarily profit by obtaining funds through deception, abusing or selling private information, promoting content, and spreading malware.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pop-up scams are run on various deceptive webpages. Most visitors access them via redirects caused by sites using rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?
Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate threats. This includes scanning visited websites for deceptive/malicious content. Therefore, should you enter such a page – you will be warned immediately, and further access to it will be blocked.