AppleCare Protection Plan also known as “Your system is infected with 3 viruses!“, and AppleCare scam virus is a fake virus warning associated with a tech support scam. Usually, such fake warnings promote supposedly toll-free phone numbers that belong to tech support services.
In this case, the scammers behind AppleCare Protection Plan are promoting a tech support line that should belong to Apple. Of course, this pop-up warning has nothing to do with the actual Apple company, and is just another scareware scam that tries to trick users into calling a bogus tech support line.
Continue reading to learn what steps to take to rid your system of the AppleCare scam virus.
|Name||AppleCare Protection Plan|
|Type||Tech Support Scam|
|Short Description||A tech support scam targeted at macOS users that tries to trick you into thinking your system has been infected.|
|Symptoms||Pop-ups and redirects, fake virus warning, browser slow-downs are also possible. In some cases, the affected browser can be locked.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installers, Suspicious Sites, Redirects|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss AppleCare Protection Plan.|
“AppleCare Protection Plan” Scam Virus – Distribution
The “AppleCare Protection Plan” scam could have been triggered by visiting a suspicious website and clicking on an ad. This is the primary method scammers employ to spread their scareware messages across the Web.
Note that one of the domains spreading this tech support scam is apple.com-macbook-fixse.galscan2.php.
Another distribution method requires the download of a freeware program which may have been bundled with adware. Freeware applications are often regarded as PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) and could also be spreading this sort of scam. You should be aware that suspicious software could cause the scareware messages to pop up in your browsers. Websites for free downloads usually come with third-party installations and bundled software packages. That is why they are widely regarded as unsafe, and you should be extra careful before downloading anything from such pages.
“AppleCare Protection Plan” Scam Virus – Details
The “AppleCare Protection Plan” scam virus is one of a few messages stemming from a tech support scam. The various scam messages may be promoting different phone numbers but the priciples of the scam are the same everywhere. One of the domains associated with this scam is apple.com-macbook-fixse.galscan2.php?s=vai3aat9_52_2867229&clcsr=1&sid = 50-qch8nt&ch = 50&dev=desktop&domd=www.google.com&bw=cr65&os.
NOTE. The above-mentioned site and its message might be connected with the Microsoft Windows Scam “Your system is heavily damaged by (4) Four virus!”.
All of these technical support scams are simply trying to scare you into calling the phone number given on the page, and both Windows and Mac users are targeted. To make it sound more trustworthy, the scammers are using either Microsoft or Apple on the fake virus alerts.
Be aware that there are other phone numbers associated with this scam, depending on the URL addresses and landing pages involved. The scammers on the other end of the line will try to trick you into believing that they are part of some sort of an official tech support team of Apple, which of course is untrue. The most common pop-up related to sites with the “AppleCare Protection Plan” scam virus message is the following:
This is what the message reads:
Your system is infected with 3 viruses!
Your Mac is infected with 3 viruses. Our security check found traces of 2 malware and 1 phishing/spyware. System damage: 28.1% – Immediate removal required!
The immediate removal of the viruses is required to prevent further damage, loss of Apps, Photos or other files. Traces of 1 Phishing/spyware were found on your Mac with OSX.
Personal and banking information are at risk.
To avoid more damage click on ‘Scan Now’ immediately. Our deep scan will provide help immediately!
1 minute and 29 seconds remaining before damage is permanent.
( Scan Now )
If you click on the “Scan Now” button, a new window will appear with a fake scan in progress. The results will try to trick you that you have viruses. Then you will be prompted to download and install a tool to remove the supposed virus. That tool that the scam is promotig could be a potentially unwanted program which may affect the performance of your Mac is many ways.
In most cases, the program will claim that it cannot rid your system of the viruses and that you need to call a phone number to fix the issues for you. You should remember that it is all part of the scam and you shouldn’t follow any instructions provided by experienced tech support scammers.
Remove “AppleCare Protection Plan” Scam Virus
If you want to remove the cause of “AppleCare Protection Plan” scam virus, we recommend that you use a specific anti-malware program. The main goal of such a program is to scan your system and terminate the files showing malicious behavior and also clean up any malicious code in your repositories. In addition, with a specific anti-malware program, your Mac will have a better protection against scams and malware.
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 AppleCare Protection Plan 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:
- 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 AppleCare Protection Plan 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:
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 AppleCare Protection Plan – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove AppleCare Protection Plan files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as AppleCare Protection Plan, 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.
AppleCare Protection Plan FAQ
What is AppleCare Protection Plan on your Mac?
The AppleCare Protection Plan threat is a potentially unwanted app or likely a Mac virus. It may slow your Mac down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear 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 AppleCare Protection Plan 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 AppleCare Protection Plan?
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 AppleCare Protection Plan?
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 website, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.