Have you encountered an alert saying that your device is “Infected with (8) adware viruses” or “Infected with (3) adware viruses? It might look legitimate, but this is almost certainly a scam. The “Infected with adware viruses” warning is not shown by Google Chrome, but by malicious websites. Dismiss it and you’ll be fine.
We’ve seen this and other fake alerts, such as the Infected With 3 Viruses! scam, the 27 Viruses scam, and others. These scams are meant to scare people and push them into downloading suspicious apps and paying for fake tech support.
Fake Alerts Infected With Adware Viruses quicklinks
- What do the “Infected with adware viruses” scams look like?
- What do the scammers want?
- Why do the “Infected with adware viruses” alerts appear?
- How to stay safe from the “Infected with adware viruses” scam
- Automatic Malware removal tools
About the “Infected with adware viruses” scam:
|How to recognize the “Infected with adware viruses” scam||It appears while browsing the web,
it claims that there are adware viruses on your device,
it offers to fix the problems and then offers you to buy a program.
|Is the scam dangerous?||It causes unnecessary stress and wastes your time,
it can cause you to lose money and reveal personal information to malicious actors,
it promotes potentially unwanted apps and programs.
|How to protect yourself from the “Infected with adware viruses” scam||Block malicious sites and ads,
check your subscriptions to make sure you don’t have ay unwanted ones.
What do the “Infected with adware viruses” scams look like?
The “Infected with adware viruses” alerts are designed by malicious actors to resemble genuine Google Chrome security alerts. Their goal is to trick people, after all.
This person – Support.google.com – saw something that looked like a Google Support page.
The fake alert that I saw looks like the same Google Chrome warning that you might see before visiting dangerous websites or after typing “chrome://interstitials/safebrowsing” into your address bar: a red page with a warning sign on it.
Some variants of the “Infected with adware viruses” scam say that you have 8 adware viruses, others – 3. The number could be anything.
Sometimes, your phone model (Samsung, Xiaomi, etc.) might be mentioned by the alert, other times just “Your device” or “Your Android”. Your IP address, location, internet service provider might also be mentioned – don’t be alarmed, this does not make the “Infected with adware viruses” alerts any more trustworthy than any random website.
Here’s the text of one of the “Infected with adware viruses” alerts:
Your Android is infected with (8) adware viruses!
These viruses cause major spam and reduce battery life. We recommend subscribing for anti-spam protection.
We strongly recommend protect your phone now to:
Press the button below, then subscribe to 24/7 Spam Protection on the next page.
Run the powerful Google-approved application to instantly clear your phone from spam ads.
What do the scammers want?
The “Infected with adware viruses” page wants to convince you that there’s something wrong with your device. At the bottom of the alert, there’s a button that might say “Allow and proceed”, “Fix now!”, etc. The scammers want you to click it.
If you do, the “Infected with adware viruses” site opens another site that could really be anything:
- a subscription signup page, such as Holtgamez.com,
- a fleeceware app – one that does nothing useful but costs a lot of money,
- fake antivirus, optimizer apps,
- other paid programs and services,
- ordinary ads.
While the “Infected with adware viruses” alerts and fake, they don’t always promote scams and malware.
Occasionally, the “Infected with adware viruses” alerts even advertise real antivirus programs and other legitimate products. Possibly, this is malicious affiliates using the “Infected with adware viruses” alerts to defraud potential buyers – you – into paying for software that you don’t want.
Why do the “Infected with adware viruses” alerts appear?
All the different versions of the “Infected with adware viruses” warnings are malicious ads. They show up while you’re browsing the web. Here is what might lead you to encounter them:
- visiting old, abandoned websites that got infected with malware,
- visiting websites that show aggressive and dangerous ads, such as pirating sites,
- seeing notification spam,
- having an adware browser extension or program installed.
The “Infected with adware viruses” ads are unlikely to appear on reputable websites.
How to stay safe from the “Infected with adware viruses” scam
If you see new tabs, redirects, pop-ups in your browser often, then there might be something that you can fix:
- install an ad blocker to help you stop malicious ads on certain websites.
- disable your installed browser extensions and see if they were causing any unwanted ads,
- check your computer for malware with antivirus tools.
If you closed the “Infected with adware viruses” alert, then you’re fine – it didn’t infect you with anything more than notification spam, which you can block very easily.
If you did download and install something thanks to the alert, then it would be wise to check your computer for malware. Any good anti-malware program works, we like Spyhunter for Windows, Spyhunter for Mac, Malwarebytes, etc.
If you installed a paid app or signed up somewhere with your payment details, you might want to cancel that subscription: manage subscriptions on Google Play, App Store, check your email inbox for any emails about new subscriptions or purchases, and, if needed, contact your bank to ask for help.
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