How to fix those annoying popup ads on mobile devices


A few of our readers were reporting invasive “popup ads” on our website that took over their screen and congratulated them for winning something, such as a new mobile phone or gift card.

We do not have “popup ads” on our website and are against running them. Any advertisement that redirects you to another website congratulating you on winning a prize is a scam.

While we have no popup ads on our website, we do show one large popup ad once per day in our Sebastian Daily mobile app, but it does not redirect people to another website congratulating them on winning a prize. Also, the user can CLOSE any of our ads and resume.

The ads that people have recently reported are from a group called ScamClub, which targets the user’s browser by injecting javascript to WebKit, used by Chrome and Safari. It gets picked up on the Internet, stored on the browser’s history, and reloads when the user visits another website.

If you are visiting our website or others and seeing a redirect to another website showing you a large popup message and congratulating you on winning things like a new mobile phone, there is a fix. Sometimes these ads might appear as Xfinity, Brighthouse, or even Apple.

A mobile device receiving these ads could be an iPhone, Samsung smartphone, Tablet, or even an iPad. 

The Fix:

  1. Make sure your web browser is up-to-date with the latest version.
  2. Turn on Airplane Mode on your device 
  3. Turn OFF Wi-Fi to completely disconnect from the Internet.
  4. Clear your browser history and cookies.
  5. Restart your device
  6. Turn on Wi-Fi
  7. Turn OFF Airplane Mode

You shouldn’t see any more of those popup ads claiming you won a prize. However, if you do, and you followed the instructions above, you’ll need to contact technical support for your mobile device.

If you’re using Chrome browser for your smartphone, the problem started on or after Aug 2nd when they released an update. We’re not sure if that update broke something, but the malware keeps showing up again (only on Chrome for mobile phones).

If using Chrome on iPhone or iPad, just switch to Safari since it’s been updated and working.

When visiting our Sebastian Daily website or app, nothing should take over your screen and redirect you to another website. 

Note: Make sure you signup for the Sebastian Daily Newsletter to stay informed with everything going on in Sebastian, Florida.
About Andy Hodges 2874 Articles
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies. In 2002, he permanently moved back to Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.