Do not trust fake pop-ups claiming that your Chrome needs to be updated

Also Known As: "Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is "Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" pop-up scam?

After investigating the "Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" pop-up, we determined that it is fake. This window can be displayed on any visited webpage, but it is not associated with the accessed site or the Google Chrome browser. Malicious browser extensions display this scam pop-up; one of the known culprits is an extension called PureSurfing.

Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update pop-up scam

"Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" pop-up scam overview

The "Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" pop-up is displayed by malicious extensions (e.g., PureSurfing, etc.). The software creates an overlay on a visited website, thus presenting users with the scam window.

The pop-up imitates a Google Chrome browser update. It states that the user's Chrome is outdated and must be updated if they wish to continue browsing.

If the browser is not upgraded to the latest version, the user will be unable to access sites. They will also face the following risks – losing personal information and stored data, confidential data leaks, and experiencing privacy violations, fraud, and other abuse.

It must be emphasized that this update alert is fake and is not associated with the Chrome browser or its developer – Google LLC.

The purpose of this hoax pop-up is to lure users into clicking the "Update" button. However, at the time of research, we were unable to get the scam to function. This does not mean that the button is nonoperational, and even if it is nonfunctional throughout – this could be rectified in the future (e.g., through an update to the extension displaying it).

Typically, fake updates are used to promote software. In other words, the scam could initiate the download/installation of a harmful file upon the "Update" button being clicked. Schemes of this kind can endorse fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

Malware proliferation is not unlikely; hence, by pressing the button in the pop-up, victims could have a trojan, ransomware, cryptominer, or other malware infiltrate their devices.

Alternatively, the button could redirect to a deceptive or malicious webpage. The force-opened site may run a phishing scam (e.g., fake sign-in page for recording usernames/passwords, etc.), a tech support scam, or spread malware. More on technical support schemes can be read in our article on UltraViewer – a remote access program often used in such scams.

To summarize, by trusting a fake pop-up – users may experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

If you encounter the "Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" scam, check the browser and system for suspicious software and remove it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name "Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Chrome browser must be updated to continue browsing safely.
Disguise Google Chrome browser update
Distribution methods Unwanted software, compromised websites, rogue ads.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Pop-up scams in general

We have written about countless pop-up scams; "Chrome is infected with Trojan:SLocker", "Update your Chrome browser extension", "Your Chrome Is Severely Damaged By 13 Malware!", "Chrome Search Contest 2022", "Google Chrome Blocked for Security Reasons", and "Dear Chrome User, Congratulations!" are just some examples of ones using Chrome-themed lures.

The purpose of scams is to gain and subsequently abuse victims' trust. This is achieved by utilizing a variety of false claims, e.g., ones relating to software updates, virus infections, package shipping mishaps, lotteries, giveaways, product promotions, etc. While what mechanisms schemes rely on may vary, the end goal – generating revenue at victims' expense – does not.

How did I encounter a pop-up scam?

Pop-up scams can be displayed on various interfaces (e.g., visited websites, desktops, etc.) by installed adware or other malicious software. Rogue browser extensions and applications can be downloaded from legitimate-looking promotional pages and scam sites.

Suspicious software can also be bundled with (packed alongside) ordinary programs. The threat of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the device is increased by downloading from untrustworthy channels (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and by rushing through installation processes (e.g., ignoring terms, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.).

Furthermore, intrusive advertisements are capable of executing scripts to perform stealthy downloads/installations upon being clicked.

Deceptive webpages use fake pop-ups as well. These pages can be accessed via intrusive ads, sites employing rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, misspelled URLs, attachments/links in spam (e.g., emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, social media posts, etc.), or installed adware (with browser force-opening abilities).

How to avoid pop-up scams?

To prevent harmful software that displays pop-up scams from infiltrating the device – download only from official and verified sources. Additionally, treat installation processes with care, e.g., by reading terms, exploring available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, extensions, tools, features, etc.

However, these scams can also be hosted on deceptive webpages. To avoid visiting such sites, take note of URLs and enter them carefully.

Be selective when clicking ads and allowing pages to deliver browser notifications. Do not permit suspicious webpages to display notifications, and instead ignore or deny such requests (i.e., press "Block", "Block Notifications", etc.).

Do not use websites offering pirated content or other questionable services (e.g., Torrenting, illegal streaming/downloading, etc.), as these webpages are usually monetized via rogue advertising networks.

Be vigilant with incoming emails and other messages; do not open attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail since they can be harmful or virulent.

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 the "Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" pop-up:

Update required

Your Chrome version does not include the latest update and, therefore, further attempts to access websites are blocked.

To continue using Chrome download mandatory up-to-date version.

The potential consequences of making this update not mandatory are:

Loss of personal data and stored data
Confidential information leakage
Privacy violation, fraud and abuse.

Current Chrome version: 220.0.4 (has ID: -)

© 2024 Google LLC.

Screenshot of a rogue browser extension (PureSurfing) displaying this fake pop-up:

Appearance of PureSurfing browser extension that displays the Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update 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:
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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?

Essentially, pop-up scams are deceptive messages intended to trick users into performing specific actions. For example, victims may be enticed/scared into downloading/installing software, purchasing products, subscribing to services, calling fake support lines, disclosing sensitive information, making monetary transactions, allowing cyber criminals to access devices remotely, and so forth.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Pop-up scams are designed to generate revenue for scammers. Profit can be made by promoting content (e.g., websites, software, products, services, etc.), acquiring funds through deception, selling/abusing private data, and proliferating malware.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

The "Your Chrome Version Does Not Include The Latest Update" pop-up has been noted being displayed by malicious browser extensions (e.g., PureSurfing, etc.). Rogue software is primarily distributed via deceptive promotional webpages, bundled installers, online scams, freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, spam browser notifications, and intrusive adverts.

It is noteworthy that pop-up scams are hosted on deceptive websites as well. These pages are most commonly endorsed via spam (e.g., emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, social media posts, browser notifications, etc.), sites using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, misspelled URLs, and adware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner is designed to eliminate all kinds of threats. It is capable of detecting and removing unwanted and malicious software. Additionally, Combo Cleaner can scan visited websites for rogue, deceptive/scam, and malicious content. Therefore, should you happen upon such a webpage – you will be immediately warned, and further access to it will be blocked.

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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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