This article has been created to explain what is the fake tech support scam showing the message “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” on your Mac.
A new tech support scam has been going around locking Macs and showing a scareware message, titled “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED”. The scam aims to appear intrusively on the victims’ web browser and should not be trusted. The main reason for that is that it belongs to a well-known Tech Support scam organization, which is believed to come from India. The scam involves tricking victims into calling fake tech support employees that pretend to fix problems on victims’ computers only to get them to pay money. If you see the “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” tech support scam message, we advise that you read this article as it aims to try and help you remove it and remove any unwanted program that may be causing it to appear on your Mac.
|Name||“YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED"|
|Type||Tech Support Scam|
|Short Description||May show fake tech support messages that claim your Mac is at risk by a specific error and you should immeidately call tech support to fix it..|
|Symptoms||Your browser is halted by a fake “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” warning message that also includes a voice warning..|
|Distribution Method||Caused by an adware program, a virus or a website that caused a redirect to it.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED".|
“YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” Mac Scam – Distribution
But if you see other advertisements on your browser besides the “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” notification, then the issue may be more serious than it is. The main reason for those advertisements may be a potentially unwanted program that is running actively on your Mac. These types of adware-infested apps often pretend to be free and helpful while they are advertised as “free extras” or “optional offers” via bundling, but be aware that they are classified as potentially unwanted, because they are indirectly harmful since they advertise URLs, like “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED”. These programs may often slither on your Mac unnoticed, because the come alongside the installers of other freeware apps downloaded from third-party sites, like your favorite web browser, torrent tracker or any other similar free app.
“YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” – Purpose and Activity
When your browser is hijacked by this tech support scam, the first thing that you will notice is it’s tech support scam note, which looks like the following:
The message also comes together with a pop-up that is difficult to close and has the following notification text:
YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED
Call Apple Technical Support +1-855-893-6999 (Toll-Free):
Do Not Ignore This Important Warning
If you close this page without resolving issue, access to your computer will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it was infected with virus and spyware. The following data is at risk:
1. Facebook Login
2. Credit Card Information
3. Email Credentials
4. Browsing History and Data
You must contact us immediately so our engineers can guide you though the recovery process by phone. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent compete loss of your computer.
Contact Apple Engineer +1-855-893-6999 (Toll-Free)
The scam may also be accompanied by a voice message, that further scares victims that their Credit Card Data, Facebook and other important credentials are compromised and if the victim does not call the number provided in several minutes, their Mac may be shut down and locked by the “security experts”. All of these are scare tactics to get you as a victim to call the scammers and provide them with access to your Mac, which will result in the actual leaking of your infromation in it while they may pretend to fix a virus on your Mac. But leaking is the least of your worries, because the scammers also want you to pay them hundreds of dollars in order to fix the supposed issues on your Mac, that do not even exist.
And not only this, but we have also done a check up on the fake tech support number on the website Scammer.info(https://www.scammer.info/d/11124-1-855-893-6999-fake-popup) and not to our surprise, the number popped out as tech support scam one as victims reported it. One user on the site tehcscammersunited.com has reported the following:
Just found this popup which is different but still has the same number.
Domain is hosted with namecheap
Remove “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” from Your Mac
If you are preparing to remove the “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” from your Mac, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions below. They are created with the main purpose to help you to try and delete any unwanted programs that may be associated with the pop-ups. In addition to this, the “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED” virus could also be removed with the aid of an advanced mac cleanup software which will take care of any problems that might be causing it and other pop-ups to appear on your Mac, which is what many security experts often advise as being the best removal method to go for.
About the “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED"?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. macOS More Susceptible to Adware and PUPs than Windows
2. XLoader Malware-as-a-Service Now Available for macOS for Only $49
3. XCSSET Mac Malware Targets Apple’s M1-Based Macs and macOS 11
4. macOS Backdoor Malware Linked to OceanLotus Hackers
5. The State of Apple’s Privacy So Far in 2021
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:
3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED":
4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.
5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED". If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.
6. Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED". Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7. Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
1. Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:
2. Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:
3. Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED". If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED", the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Quick and Easy Mac Malware Video Removal Guide
Step 4: How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
Mac machines maintain probably the fastest operating system out there. Still, Macs do become slow and sluggish sometimes. The video guide below examines all of the possible problems that may lead to your Mac being slower than usual as well as all of the steps that can help you to speed up your Mac.
“YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" FAQ
What is “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED" on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED"?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from “YOUR COMPUTER WAS LOCKED"?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.