Cleaner Update pop-up scam (fake) - Free Guide

Cleaner Update pop-up scam Removal Guide

What is Cleaner Update pop-up scam?

Cleaner Update is an Android-based scam that attempts to make users download questionable software

Cleaner Update scamCleaner Update is a scam that attempts to trick people into downloading potentially dangerous software

You may encounter a “Cleaner Update” message whenever you browse the web on Chrome or another browser on your Android device. According to a strange pop-up that displays a video in the background that is about to be played, users have to download and install an app from Google Play in order to continue – watch the video in “safe mode.”

In reality, “Cleaner Update” is a browser-based scam that shows up as a pop-up whenever you are redirected to one of the malicious websites that hosts it. For example, we have observed spreading the scam. Of course, users do not enter websites like these on purpose but are rather redirected to them, usually whenever they are visiting a compromised website (peer-to-peer[1] networks, illegal video streaming platforms, etc.)

Alternatively, unexpected browser redirects may indicate that your system has adware installed on it. This software spreads via software bundles[2] and similar deceptive methods, hence many people don't even know they have it running in the background. We will explain how to deal with the scam after encountering it and how to properly check your system for adware and other infections.

Name Cleaner Update scam
Type Online fraud, fake messages, scam
Platform Android
Distribution Malicious websites, redirects, adware
Scam content Claims that software needs to be downloaded and installed in order to “watch the video in Safe Mode.”
Risks Installation of potentially unwanted or malicious software, personal data disclosure to cybercriminals, financial losses, unintentional subscriptions, etc.
Removal Perform a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner to ensure your device is not infected

The dangers of software distributed via scam websites

As mentioned, people usually enter the site hosting the Cleaner Update scam by accident, which works very well in favor of scammers. Whenever people are caught off guard, they are more likely to make mistakes and not think things through, which ultimately results in users succumbing to these fake messages.

The scam message could be hosted on a variety of websites, which are usually accessed after clicking a booby-trapped link somewhere else. Here's the message that you might see:

Cleaner Update

Please download the free Cleaner app from Google Play to continue watching in safe mode

Install & Register Now

You should never believe messages which claim that something is missing from your browser or phone and needs to be installed for one reason or another. For example, there are plenty of fake messages spreading online that claim that the system has been infected with various viruses and that security software is missing. By claiming this, crooks make users panic and think that their security and safety are at risk, making them download the software they otherwise would.

Quite often, users are also asked to subscribe for a monthly fee, which would charge the credit card automatically every month or a few weeks. Without users contacting the bank and accessing the online baking, the bills would continue indefinitely. This is just one of the ways of losing money to scams like Cleaner Update.

Those who proceed with the scam and click the required buttons may also be asked to enter their personal information, which can later be sold to the highest bidder on the dark web. Without a doubt, it could seriously compromise one's personal safety and result in further financial losses or even identity fraud.

Cleaner Update pop-up scamRandom websites display misleading messages, encouraging users to download apps

Finally, the software offered by scam messages is often malicious itself. Even though they often claim that the app is secure and would be downloaded from Google Play or another reputable source, sometimes users are redirected to fake websites created by scammers. As a result, you may infect your device with malware that would steal your personal data, install other viruses or start sending spam.

Check your device for adware and other potentially unwanted applications

First of all, only accessing and seeing the Cleaner Update pop-up scam is not likely to compromise your phone or tablet unless software vulnerabilities[3] are present on it (this is why it is extremely important to apply all the security updates as soon as they become available).

The most important thing is not interacting with any buttons within the scam page or downloading software via provided links. If you have installed anything, we strongly recommend removing it as soon as possible by following these steps:

  1. Go to Settings -> Apps/Applications.
  2. Expand the full list of the installed apps.
  3. Scroll through the list and tap on a suspicious application once.
  4. Tap on it and select Uninstall.Uninstall from Android
  5. Reboot the device.

After the unwanted applications from the device are uninstalled, you should also take care of your cache files, as they could result in further data tracking and the return of advertisements and redirects. You can employ FortectIntego to deal with this issue or perform the steps manually:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps/Applications.
  2. Expand the full list of the installed apps.
  3. Tap on Chrome and select Storage & cache.
  4. Clear storage and clear cache of the app.Clear Chrome cache and and data Android

If you are seeing ads on top of other apps but are not sure what is causing it, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to Apps/Applications.
  2. Tap Advanced.
  3. Select Special App access.
  4. Tap on Display over other apps.Check if can display over other Apps Android
  5. Eliminate apps with these access rights enabled.

Once you complete these steps, we recommend you perform a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes security software to ensure that your device is not infected with malware that silently runs in the background. Likewise, these security applications can shield you from future malware attacks.

Get rid of push notifications

Sometimes, the cause of unexpected pop-ups is related to the push notification feature. Upon entering a suspicious website, you may be asked to click the “Allow” button within the notification prompt, which would result in intrusive pop-ups showing up at random times. To remediate this problem, block the website that's sending you notifications within browser settings:

  1. Open Google Chrome and tap on Settings (three vertical dots).
  2. Select Notifications.
  3. Scroll down to the Sites section.
  4. Locate the unwanted URL and toggle the button to the left (Off setting).Stop notifications on Chrome Android
do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

How to prevent from getting adware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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