What kind of scam is "Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected"?
While investigating suspicious websites, our research team found a page promoting the "Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected" scam. It falsely claims that the visiting user's smartphone is infected with five viruses. It must be emphasized that this scam is in no way associated with the real TotalAV anti-virus.
"Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected" scam overview
When we accessed a webpage running "Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected", it immediately performed a bogus system scan. Afterward, it presented a threat report in a pop-up window.
The pop-up stated that the visitor's smartphone is infected with five viruses. The imaginary malware infections are likely tracking Internet activity and collecting sensitive data such as banking details and log-in credentials. The scam informed that unprotected devices are 93% more vulnerable to infections. It claimed that the "Total AV Security" subscription had expired and encouraged the visitor to renew it.
It must be stressed that all these claims are false, and this scam is not associated with the actual TotalAV anti-virus. Furthermore, no website can run system scans or otherwise detect threats/issues on visitors' devices.
In most cases, scams of this type are used to endorse untrustworthy and harmful software, e.g., fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and PUAs. We have even found rare instances where such scams proliferated trojans, ransomware, and other malware.
Alternatively, deceptive content can redirect to the official sites of genuine products/services – thus the scammers aim to obtain illegitimate commissions for the promotion.
To summarize, by trusting a scam like "Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected" – users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||"Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected" pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Visitor's smartphone is infected with five viruses.|
|Detection Names (totalav[.]site)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (totalav[.]site)||22.214.171.124|
|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 scam examples
We have investigated countless online scams; "Surfshark - Your PC Is Infected With 5 Viruses!", "McAfee - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!", and "Norton Security - Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!" are merely a few examples of ones similar to "Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected".
The Internet is full of deceptive and malicious content. Various scam models are utilized to gain and subsequently abuse victims' trust. Users can be scared or enticed into downloading/installing software, purchasing content, disclosing private data, making monetary transactions, or performing other actions.
How did I open a scam website?
Scam sites can be force-opened the moment a webpage employing rogue advertising networks is accessed or when hosted content is clicked (e.g., buttons, text input fields, links, adverts, etc.). Misspelling a website's URL can also result in a redirect (or a redirection chain leading) to a deceptive page.
Additionally, intrusive ads and spam browser notifications promote this content. Spam in general (e.g., emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, public forum posts, etc.) is utilized in scam endorsement. Adware can display adverts promoting deceptive content and/or generate redirects to websites hosting it.
How to avoid visiting scam websites?
It is essential to exercise caution while browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and harmless.
We advise against visiting/using websites offering pirated software/media or other questionable services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.) since these sites are monetized via rogue advertising networks.
Pay attention to URLs and enter them with care. To avoid receiving undesirable browser notifications – do not permit suspect webpages to deliver them (i.e., do not click "Allow", "Allow Notifications", etc.). Instead, deny or ignore notification requests from such pages (i.e., press "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).
Furthermore, perform downloads only from official/verified channels and treat installation with care (e.g., read terms, use "Custom/Advanced" settings, opt-out of all additions, etc.) – to prevent bundled/harmful content from infiltrating your devices. 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 "Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected" pop-up:
Total AV Security
Your smartphone is infected with 5 viruses!
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
Your Total AV Security subscription has expired!
Renew now to keep your smartphone protected.
Viruses found on this smartphone most likely track internet activity to collect banking details and login credentials.
Unprotected smartphones are 93% more vulnerable to suffer from malware.
The appearance of "Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected" pop-up scam (GIF):
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 "Total AV Security - Your Smartphone Is Infected" 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 deceptive messages intended to trick users into performing specific actions. Most commonly, victims are lured into making monetary transactions, disclosing sensitive information, downloading/installing software, purchasing products, calling fake helplines, and allowing cyber criminals to access devices remotely.
What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?
Like all scams, ones that utilize pop-up windows aim to generate revenue for the scammers behind them. Cyber criminals primarily profit by obtaining funds through deception, abusing or selling private data, promoting content, and proliferating malware.
Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?
Pop-up scams are endorsed on deceptive webpages. Most visitors enter them through 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 capable of scanning every single website you visit and detecting rogue, deceptive/scam, and malicious ones. Therefore, should you enter such a webpage – you will be warned immediately, and further access to it will be denied.