ads (scam) - Tutorial ads Removal Guide

What is ads? scam shows fake antivirus notification prompts is a malicious website that tries to scam users by using the name of a legitimate security software is one of the thousands of websites that use fraud in order to make users do something they otherwise wouldn't. In this case, it is subscribing to notifications – pop-up type messages that appear on top of all the other apps, regardless of which web page is being visited at the time. It also applies to all browsers – Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, or Safari can all be affected by this issue.

In most cases, users do not visit sites like this one on purpose but instead get redirected from somewhere else. The activity might also sometimes be a direct result of the adware[1] infection, so it is important to check the system thoroughly. The best thing to do is to ignore these redirects and leave the browser tab immediately. However, users are often curious or are unaware of many scam websites that seek to trick them.

Upon entering the website, people might see some familiar names. To be precise, they are likely to recognize the name of Norton – a security company that specializes in making anti-malware software. The fake message claims that users' computers have been infected with 5 viruses and that they should allegedly update their security software, regardless if they are using Norton or not. Do not be tricked by this pop-up, as it is fake and can result in the installation of potentially unwanted programs or malware.

There are a few components to the scam. You should ensure that none of them remain on your system. Below you will find the information needed on how to deal with the intrusive pop-ups from the site as well as how to avoid being scammed in the future.

Type Push notifications, pop-ups, ads
Distribution As soon as the “Allow” button is pressed within the notification prompt
Symptoms Intrusive pop-ups from the site will be shown directly on users' desktops
Dangers Clicking on links that are embedded within the notification prompt, exploring the sites these links bring to, or downloading files can be particularly dangerous – users can get infected with malware, suffer from financial losses or privacy issues
Deletion You can stop the unwanted notifications by accessing web browser settings, as explained in the instructions below. If you suspect adware infection, you should use security software to eliminate it quickly
Further steps Cleaning web browsers is just as important when dealing with potentially unwanted programs, so do so by following the instructions below or use FortectIntego as an automatic fix

The fake alerts and how to recognize them

Online fraud has been around for as long as the internet – cybercriminals were quick to realize that it can be used to scam users to benefit financially. This is precisely the reason why we see the rise of such devastating cyber threats as ransomware[2] or data-stealing malware.

While these computer infections can be particularly dangerous, there is a lesser form of fraud that can be used by crooks – fake alerts. There are plenty of fraudulent messages that are populated on various malicious websites in order to make users perform actions they otherwise wouldn't.

In this case, visitors are being convinced that there are infections already present on the device, and they need to be removed thanks to Norton antivirus. Here is the full message you might encounter:

Norton Security
Your PC is infected with 5 viruses!
Your Norton Subscription Has Expired!
Renew now to keep your pc protected.
If your PC is unprotected, it is at risk for viruses and other malware.

According to the note, the antivirus program's subscription has expired, and they need to renew it in order to allegedly remove the found viruses. In reality, all these statements are false. In most cases, even users who do not use Norton might receive this notification, which is the first red flag.

Even if you do use this security software, do not believe the notifications you encounter on random websites after being redirected[3] from somewhere else. Crooks rely on users' inexperience and try to frighten them about things that are not actually true. virusFake notifications might result in an infection of malware, so you should never download anything suggested

This is not the first time crooks are trying to use social engineering tricks in order to frighten users. We have previously discussed scams like Your system is infected with (3) viruses, Critical Error, or Pornographic virus alert from Microsoft. Crooks use the familiarity of the tech giants in order to make the fake messages more believable.

Unfortunately, some less IT-savvy individuals might not be familiar with all the technical terms that the scam uses and get tricked into doing what was asked for. In the case of the scam (note that this message can manifest on other websites, as crooks often use templates that are simply populated across various malicious sites around the web), the “system scan” is fake. It is a mere image of fake scan results.

Thus, you should never download anything suggested on such websites, as the offered software is likely to be malicious. If you need help protecting yourself from malicious sites like this, we strongly recommend you employ security software with real-time protection feature – SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes can be helpful. Also, you should also pay close attention to the URL address the message is coming from – deception can be easily spotted from there.

Stop pop-ups

As we already mentioned, the scam uses two components – the push notification prompt and the fraudulent notification, which encourages you to download insecure software. It goes without saying that you should not install anything offered, as it might start stealing your passwords or damage your personal computer files.

Nonetheless, if you have agreed for the notifications to be shown, you might receive intrusive pop-ups on your screen at regular intervals. What makes it worse is that these notifications would show up on top of all the other apps, making you accidentally click on embedded links. Besides, the pop-ups are extremely intrusive and can come at any time, disrupting normal PC activities.

In order to stop the ads, you should access the site settings of your browser. Below you will find instructions on how to do that on all modern web browsers.

Google Chrome (desktop):

  1. Open Google Chrome browser and go to Menu > Settings.
  2. Scroll down and click on Advanced.
  3. Locate the Privacy and security section and pick Site Settings > Notifications.Stop notifications on Chrome PC 1
  4. Look at the Allow section and look for a suspicious URL.
  5. Click the three vertical dots next to it and pick Block. This should remove unwanted notifications from Google Chrome.Stop notifications on Chrome PC 2

Google Chrome (Android):

  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

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and go to Menu > Options.
  2. Click on Privacy & Security section.
  3. Under Permissions, you should be able to see Notifications. Click the Settings button next to it.Stop notifications on Mozilla Firefox 1
  4. In the SettingsNotification Permissions window, click on the drop-down menu by the URL in question.
  5. Select Block and then click on Save Changes. This should remove unwanted notifications from Mozilla Firefox.Stop notifications on Mozilla Firefox 2


  1. Click on Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to the Websites tab and, under General, select Notifications.
  3. Select the web address in question, click the drop-down menu and select Deny.Stop notifications on Safari

MS Edge:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, and click the Settings and more button (three horizontal dots) at the top-right of the window.
  2. Select Settings and then go to Advanced.
  3. Under Website permissions, pick Manage permissions and select the URL in question.Stop notifications on Edge 1
  4. Toggle the switch to the left to turn notifications off on Microsoft Edge.Stop notifications on Edge 2

MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, and go to Settings.
  2. Select Site permissions.
  3. Go to Notifications on the right.
  4. Under Allow, you will find the unwanted entry.
  5. Click on More actions and select Block.Stop notifications on Edge Chromium

Internet Explorer:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, and click on the Gear icon at the top-right of the window.
  2. Select Internet options and go to the Privacy tab.
  3. In the Pop-up Blocker section, click on Settings.
  4. Locate web address in question under Allowed sites and pick Remove.Stop notifications on Internet Explorer

Clean your system

As evident, the prompts from the scam site are not real, so you can easily ignore them. However, completely denying the possibility that there could be a potentially unwanted program or malware installed on your device is also not a wise thing to do.

While you might encounter scam websites by just browsing the internet, another reason for browser redirects is adware. These potentially unwanted programs are usually spread in software bundle packages, which results in unintentional installation. This is one of the reasons why most people are not aware that adware is installed on their systems.

The easiest way to check for adware is to scan the device with security software. It can also check whether there are malicious programs running in the background and remove all the components automatically. Of course, if you are aware of which application could be causing redirects to suspicious sites, ads, and other issues, you can also delete it manually. Keep in mind, however, the adware might be either installed as a browser extension or a program (on the system level).

You should also take your time and clean your web browsers thoroughly. Many unwanted applications are programmed to collect user data with the help of tracking technologies such as cookies, which might remain after the PUP is eliminated. Besides, the unwanted ads and redirects might continue.

In order to delete web data and cookies, you need to access the settings section of your web browser – you can find all the details below. Alternatively, you could also employ an automatic maintenance solution FortectIntego for the job.

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Fortect Happiness
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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.

Getting rid of ads. Follow these steps

Remove from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

Uninstall from Windows

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash) Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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