This article will aid you to remove the MAC OS is infected with Spyware scam in full. Follow the tech support scam removal instructions at the end of the article.
SIDENOTE: This post was originally published in August 2018. But we gave it an update in October 2019.
MAC OS is infected with Spyware is a message seen on various websites that host a tech support scam with a phone number that allegedly belongs to Apple support. Pop-ups that show constantly lock your browser on that current landing page. The browser can be shut down in some cases, without any negative effects, but in other ones your computer and browser might get affected further with more malware. Most variants of this scam feature a background image that aims to look like an official Apple related background or a Safari browser window.
|Name||MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam|
|Type||Tech Support Scam|
|Short Description||A number of tech support scams trying to scare you that you have a legitimate MAC OS is infected with Spyware about a virus found on your Mac. You are provided with a phone number to a supposed Apple tech support team.|
|Symptoms||Pop-up boxes, messages, and redirects appear in your browser. It is not excluded for there to be a lock-screen function among these, or your computer freezing because of the activity going on in your browser related to the scam.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installers, Suspicious Sites, Redirects|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam.|
MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam – Update October 2019
Our research indicates that the “MAC OS is infected with Spyware” scam continues to be active. Users who are affected by the scam message should keep in mind that it is impossible for Apple or any other company to determine their system was in any way infected.
Moreover, this is not the only such scam circling the web. Here is a list of several other tech support scams to be aware of:
- “A Website You Visited Today Has Infected Your Mac With A Virus” Scam
- MacOS Cannot Verify Pop-up
- “Your Mac is Infected with 3 Viruses”
MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam – Spread
Browsing the Web can be dangerous, especially when you reach new and unknown websites by causally browsing and they turn out to be malicious. Clicking on advertisements or targeted content could have hidden links that redirect you to dubious online places. That is the most common way in which this kind of a tech support scam can use for its spread. Other websites could be filled with advertisements and redirect links and you could land on a page which has the MAC OS is infected with Spyware message.
Freeware applications, regarded as PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) could also distribute this sort of scam. Different software could cause the scareware to appear in your browsers or another related Apple Tech Support scam. Such websites usually come with third-party installations and freeware packages. These packages tend to have extra features selected for installation from the get-go. To avoid installing any additional features could be done if you find Advanced or a Custom settings.
MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam – Insight
MAC OS is infected with Spyware is one of a few messages related to a tech support scam. The scam doesn’t differentiate much between the domains which are involved with it, but they use different phone numbers.
All of these technical support scams are shown with pop-ups as alerts and are trying to scare you into calling the phone number given on the page. To make it sound more trustworthy, the scammers have put the Microsoft name as the supposed entity which has blocked the page or browser.
There could be plenty more phone numbers associated with this scam, depending on the URL addresses and landing pages involved. The criminals that are on the other end of the telephone line will try to trick you into believing that they are part of some sort of an official tech support team of Microsoft and say they are employees there. That is definitely a lie. The most common pop-up related to sites with the „MAC OS is infected with Spyware“ message on the landing page looks like this:
It states the following:
MAC OS is infected with Spyware and other malicious applications. Spyware must be removed and system damage repaired. It is necessary to Call Apple Support +1-844-295-3111 and follow Virus removal procedures immediately please proceed.
** If you leave this site your Mac OS will remain damaged and vulnerable**
The removal of (3) Spyware is required immediately to prevent further system damage, loss of Apps, Photos and other files.
Traces of (1) Phishing/Spyware were found on your Mac OS X. Personal and banking information are at risk.
If you click on the “Please Call Apple Support” button, a new window will appear that might call a phone number related to the scam. Know that the phone number isn’t toll-free and it will either cost a fortune or scammers will try to get you to pay a fee for “fixing” your computer.
In case you see any of those messages, know that they aren’t official messages from Apple related service. Also, no matter how many pop-ups, alerts and message boxes are displayed, remember that this is just scareware that is trying to trick you into calling the a phone number that goes along with the corresponding message.
Your browser or computer screen can become locked and may seem like your whole screen is blocked and totally inaccessible. In such a situation, you could try button combinations such as “Cmd ⌘ + Option ⌥ + Esc” to Force Quit.
The scammers want to make you believe that the only way to fix your computer device is by calling one of the phone numbers, provided on your screen. They also will blatantly lie to you that they are an expert team of technicians and as already mentioned above, in most cases pretend to be Apple employees. Not even a small fraction of that is true. Also, note that most of the time the person on the other line has an Indian accent or is from India – that is not racist or discriminatory in this case, but sadly it may be true. The whole scam is made in a way to convince you into calling the provided telephone numbers, based firmly on scareware tactics.
Do NOT call any of the phone numbers in any circumstance. It is not toll free as presented on the websites, and even the shortest of calls could cost you next to a small fortune. Moreover, while the con artists can present themselves as Microsoft employees or similar experts or even partners, they will try to acquire personal information and financial data from you. That information can be sold, and you could get into more problems, such as identity theft, your bank accounts getting emptied etc.
Remove MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam
If you want to remove this unwanted software which is causing the MAC OS is infected with Spyware scamming pages to appear on your Mac machine we recommend that you use a specific anti-malware for Mac machines. Such program’s main goal is to scan your machine and eliminate the files with the malicious behaviour plus clean up any malicious code in your repositories as well. In addition to this, with such specific anti-malware program, your computer is sure to remain protected and healthy permormance-wise in the future.
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 MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam 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 MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam 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 MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam, 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.
MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam FAQ
What is MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam 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 MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam 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 MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam?
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 MAC OS is infected with Spyware Scam?
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.