An increasing number of users are experiencing issues with Safari. Specifically, a pop-up alert window appears saying that their Mac may have been hijacked or that there is a “suspicious activity” or that their Mac is infected with a virus.
You may see a popup message something like this:
Critical Security Warning! Your Mac is infected with a malicious virus attack. Please contact tech support at +1-888-307-2735 and provide error code WBACK7917 to scan and resolve any potential threats to your personal and financial information, which was being tracked by suspicious connection. Consequently, we are performing additional security checks to verify the source of the attack and have halted all your system resources in order to prevent any additional damage to your system and information.”
This is a scam message targeting Mac users. Safari (Explorer, Firefox, Edge, or Chrome) will look unresponsive and locked and you will not be able to close the popup.
This is a common method that scammers use to scare people. In fact, they are a lot of different methods to steal your money, personal information, or even identity.
Do not call the number on the message. And do not click the “OK” button. If you call the number, whoever answers the phone will ask you to access your Mac remotely. Or they may ask you to pay between $100 and $500. Do not do this. They are trying to steal your money. And do not share your personal information.
The popup also has a phone number. The number does not belong to Apple. If you need to contact Apple, contact only via its official number or website.
If you worry about viruses, you can prevent viruses and other malware on your Mac. You can make your Mac more secure.
There is another similar phishing scam: Mac: Your System Is Infected With (3) Viruses.
Here is how to fix security alert messages:
Follow the steps below:
- Force quit Safari by pressing Command-Option-Esc. Or click the Apple menu and select Force Quit.
- Force Quit window will appear.
- Select Safari.
- Then click Force Quit.
- Now you need to restart Safari. But if you start Safari normally, the popup may appear. Now while pressing the Shift key, launch Safari. This is an important step. This will restart the browser without reloading previously open sessions.
If you are still experiencing this problem:
- Force quit Safari.
- Relaunch Safari while holding down the Shift key.
- Turn Wi-Fi off. Simply click the wireless icon in the upper left corner then choose Turn Wi-Fi Off.
- Visit a web site e.g. apple.com.
- Now connect to the Internet by turning Wi-Fi on.
Note: You may also want to clear your browser history. Choose History > Clear History. You may also want to clear your cache.
See also: Mac Stuck On “Setting up your Mac”, Fix