Fake antivirus apps use scare tactics and unrealistic promises to earn money.
Annoying popups advertising fake antivirus apps appear in mobile browsers.
Those evil popups. We all know them, we all see them every day on our PCs while we are reading news, watching videos, or just generally – clicking. As tempting as they might sound, let me assure you that you’re not a 1000000thvisitor and you certainly just didn’t win a lottery. Also no magic diet pills for you. Popups are not your friend. Close them, block them, and never trust them.
This applies even when you’re browsing on your mobile device. Popups have found their way to our phones and tablets and they are using scare techniques to get our money so their makers can have a nice vacation in the Bahamas while we fall for their tricks again and again.
What’s the latest trick? It’s something like this:
“Your precious phone has been INFECTED with a VERY SERIOUS VIRUS and will explode in one minute. Also all your party pics and bathroom selfies will be sent to your parents and your boss. Wait, you just got very lucky! OUR ANTIVIRUS CAN CURE ALL THE VIRUSES in the world, make rainbows and most importantly – SAVE YOUR PHONE! Just put your phone number here and subscribe to our service. It’s $50 a month and your phone will be SAFE FOREVER! Do it!”
That announcement also comes with text in red, lot of exclamation marks and most recently – a countdown to oblivion. Yes, it will show an actual countdown and you are supposed to quickly react so your phone "stays untouched".
Here are some examples of real popups you may have seen on your phone
So, you might ask yourself in that very moment, “What do I do?” I'll tell you what you do. You close that tab, close the browser, swipe it off the background, and go get a coffee. You look at the window and with a smirk on your face you say, “Nice try.”
Why? Because all that was just a lie. It was a fake antivirus in your browser trying to scare you into paying money for basically no reason.