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Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free Scam

Also Known As: Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free virus
Damage level: Severe

What is "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free"?

"Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" is malware that locks computer screens and displays a fake error message. The screen lock imitates a fatal system error (so-called "Blue Screen of Death"). The error message states that the system has been shutdown to prevent further damage. A pop-up is then displayed claiming that a virus has been detected.

Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free scam

The error message states that the system has detected suspicious activity and encourages victims to contact "technical support" via a telephone number provided (1-888-496-5150). Victims can then supposedly receive help in solving the problem and removing the potential threat (virus).

On initial inspection, the "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" error may seem genuine, however, the information provided is false - "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" is simply a virus scam and the 'detected' threat does not exist. Cyber criminals aim to scare victims and trick them into calling the number and paying for services that are not needed.

You should never attempt to contact these people. Viruses such as "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" are often distributed with potentially unwanted programs (adware, browser hijackers) that display intrusive online advertisements, cause unwanted browser redirects, and collect personally identifiable information.

These ads often conceal underlying content of visited websites. Furthermore, they can redirect to malicious websites and, thus, even accidental clicks might result in further computer infections. Content-concealing ads and unwanted browser redirects significantly diminish the Internet browsing experience.

In addition, rogue apps record geo-locations, IP addresses, URLs visited, queries entered into search engines, pages viewed, mouse/keyboard movement, and other similar data that might be personally identifiable. This information might be misused to generate revenue.

Thus, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. All adware/browser-hijacking applications should be uninstalled immediately.

There are dozens of fake errors similar to "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" including Notice Of Imposition Of Fine, You have a ALUREON virus, and Your Windows Has Been Banned - these are just some examples from many. Although these viruses appear different, their purpose is identical - to extort money from unsuspecting users.

Cyber criminals often proliferate these viruses via malicious websites, unofficial software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, etc.), spam emails (malicious attachments), trojans, and fake software updaters.

Therefore, be cautious when browsing, downloading applications from third party sources, and opening files received from unrecognizable/suspicious emails. Furthermore, use legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware software and keep your installed applications up-to-date.

"Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" error message (blue screen):

A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer.
DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LES_OR_EQUAL Contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance.
for Contact us Toll Free +1-888-496-5150 If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer, If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation,
ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.
If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.
Technical information:
*** STOP: 0x00D1 (0x00C,0x002,0x00,0xF86B5A89)
*** gv3.sys - Address F86B5A89 base at F86B5000, DateStamp 3dd9919eb
Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete. Contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance. For Contact us Toll Free 1-888-496-5150

"Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" error message (pop-up):

Microsoft Security Essentials
Toll Free 1-888-496-5150
Possible new threat detected by Behavior Detection
Program: C:\Windows\fvxeupdate.exe

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Quick menu:

"Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" scam removal:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Go to the Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click on Advanced Startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced Startup. Click on the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into "Advanced Startup options menu".

Click on the "Troubleshoot" button, then click on "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen click on "Startup settings". Click on the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press "5" to boot in Safe Mode with Networking Prompt.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button.

In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.


If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove viruses using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer starting process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt Mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remnants of the "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" virus.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk.

Some viruses disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer. After removing "Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free" virus from your PC, restart your computer and scan it with legitimate anti-spyware software to remove any possible remnants of this security infection.

Other tools known to remove this scam:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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