Microsoft Warning Alert Scam

Also Known As: Microsoft Warning Alert virus
Type: Adware
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

Microsoft Warning Alert removal instructions

What is Microsoft Warning Alert?

"Microsoft Warning Alert" is a fake pop-up error message claiming that the computer is infected. This error is displayed by a malicious website that users visit inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that infiltrate the system during installation of regular apps ("bundling" method). As well as causing redirects, PUPs deliver intrusive advertisements and continually record various user/system information.

Microsoft Warning Alert adware

This error message states that malicious content has been detected and, therefore, personal information (logins, passwords, banking details, etc.) is at risk. It is also stated that the malware must be eliminated immediately by contacting 'certified technicians' via the telephone number ("0-800-046-5729") provided. Victims are then supposedly guided through the removal process. Be aware, however, that this error message is a scam. Criminals attempt to trick victims into calling and paying for services that are not required. Therefore, never attempt to call the aforementioned telephone number. You can remove this error simply by closing the web browser. Note that the malicious website displays a full screen pop-up when attempts are made to close the browser - this can only be closed via Windows Task Manager. PUPs employ a "virtual layer" to generate coupon, banner, pop-up, and other similar ads. "The virtual layer" enables placement of third party graphical content on any site. The displayed ads often conceal underlying content of visited websites. Furthermore, some lead to malicious websites. Therefore, clicking them can result in further computer infections. Another downside is information tracking - PUPs gather Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, Internet service providers (ISPs), geo-locations, URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, mouse/keyboard activity, and other similar data that might be personally identifiable. This information is shared with third parties who misuse personal details to generate revenue. Thus, data tracking can result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft. All potentially unwanted programs must be uninstalled immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Microsoft Warning Alert virus
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Pop-up messages claim that the system is damaged/infected and encourage users to contact fake tech support.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +0-800-046-5729, +1-888-371-0333, +855-252-1791, +1800-861-420, +888-406-1979, +833-888-7210, +1-888-994-7439
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

"Microsoft Warning Alert" shares many similarities with Microsoft Has Detected A Porn Virus, Warning Internet Security Breached, Your Computer Has Been Infected With Virus, and many other fake error messages. All state that the system is infected or damaged in other similar ways, however, this information is false and should not be trusted. The only purpose of this software is to generate revenue for the developers. In fact, PUPs all have an identical purpose - by offering various 'useful functions', they attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. Rather than providing any significant value for regular users, potentially unwanted programs cause unwanted redirects, display intrusive advertisements, and gather personal information.

How did adware install on my computer?

As mentioned above, PUPs are distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - stealth installation of third party applications with regular software. Developers hide bundled programs within the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings of the download/installation processes. Unsuspecting users often rush these procedures and skip most steps, often leading to inadvertent installation of PUPs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

There are two simple steps you should take to prevent this situation. Firstly, never rush when downloading and installing software. Select the "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely analyze each step. Secondly, cancel all additionally-included applications and decline offers to download/install them. The key to computer safety is caution.

Text presented within "Microsoft Warning Alert" pop-up:

** Microsoft Warning Alert **
Malicious Pornographic Spyware/Riskware Detected
Error # 0x80072ee7
Please call us immediately at: 0-800-046-5729
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and riskware. The following information is being stolen...
> Financial Data
> Facebook Logins
> Credit Card Details
> Email Account Logins
> Photos stored on this computer
You must contact us immediately so that our expert engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent your computer from being disabled or from any information loss.
Toll Free: 0-800-046-5729

Another variant of this scam “Windows Warning Alert”:

windows warning alert scam

Text presented in this scam:

Windows Warning Alert
Malicious Spyware/Riskware Detected
Error FXX000
Please call us immediately at: +1-888-371-0333
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network. Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Spyware and risk ware. The following information is being stolen…
> Financial Data
> Facebook Logins
> Credit Card Details
> Email Account Logins
> Photos stored on this computer
You must contact us immediately to that our expert engineer can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent your computer from being disabled or from any information loss.
Toll Free: +1-888-371-0333

Yet another variant of this scam "Error # 0x80072ee7", scammers use (855)252-1791 phone number:

windows warning alert scam variant 3

A variant of this scam using 1800-861-420 phone number ("ERROR #wbckl459"):

microsoft warning alert scam wbckl459 variant

Another variant of "Microsoft Warning Alert" scam. Crooks now use "(888) 406-1979" phone number and the error code is "ERROR # 268d3x8938(3)":

Screenshot of the pop-up:

Microsoft Warning Alert pop-up error

Text presented within the pop-up:

Microsoft Warning Alert **
ERROR # 268d3x8938(3)
Please call us immediately at: (888) 406-1979 (Toll Free)
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and riskware. The following information is being stolen...

1.Facebook Logins
2.Credit Card Details
3.Email Account Logins
4.Photos stored on this computer

Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent your computer from being disabled or from any information loss.

Toll Free: (888) 406-1979

Screenshot of the background:

Microsoft Warning Alert scam

Text in website's background:

Microsoft Warning Alert **
ERROR # 268d3x8938(3)
Please call us immediately at: (888) 406-1979 (Toll Free)
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and riskware. The following information is being stolen...

1.Facebook Logins
2.Credit Card Details
3.Email Account Logins
4.Photos stored on this computer

You must contact us immediately so that our expert engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity or from any information loss.
Call Microsoft: (888) 406-1979 (Toll Free)

After clicking anywhere on the deceptive site, it opens full-screen browsing window and displays the exact same error (same text) with different design:

Microsoft Warning Alert full screen

Appearance of this "Microsoft Warning Alert" variant (GIF):

New variant of Microsoft Warning Alert GIF

Yet another variant of "Microsoft Warning Alert" pop-up scam. The warning messages are exactly the same, the only difference is that scammers use a different telephone number ("(833) 888-7210"):

A variant of Microsoft Warning Alert pop-up scam

Another variant of "Microsoft Warning Alert" pop-up scam which now additionally displays a window displaying "Killer's IP Address":

Microsoft Warning Alert pop-up scam Killer IP Address

Yet another variant of "Microsoft Warning Alert" pop-up scam:

Microsoft Warning Alert pop-up scam (2020-05-14)

Text presented within:

Pop-up:

 

** Microsoft Warning Alert **
Malicious Pornographic Spyware/Riskware Detected
Error # 0x80092ee9

Please call us immediately Call Microsoft at: ++1-888-816-4987 (Toll Free)
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and riskware. The following information is being stolen...
Call Microsoft: ++1-888-816-4987 (Toll Free)
Leave Page
Stay Page
++1-888-816-4987
Error Logged at: Thu May 14 2020 14:27pm
Microsoft Diagnostics IP Address: 127.255.0.1


Background:

 

Call Support ++1-888-816-4987
stop
Your computer has been Locked
Call Microsoft : ++1-888-816-4987

Your computer with the IP address 191.84.29.41 has been infected by the Trojans -- Because System Activation KEY has expired & Your information (for example, passwords, messages, and credit cards) have been stolen. Call Microsoft ++1-888-816-4987 to protect your files and identity from further damage.
Call Microsoft : ++1-888-816-4987 (Toll Free)

Automatically report details of possible security incidents to Google. Privacy policy

Another variant of "Microsoft Warning Alert" pop-up scam:

Microsoft Warning Alert Scam (2020-08-21)

Text presented within:

Call Support +1-888-994-7439
Call Support +1-888-994-7439
+1-888-994-7439
Error Logged at: Fri Aug 21 2020 14:38pm
Microsoft Diagnostics IP Address: 85.206.10.62
    

stop
Your computer has been Locked
Call Microsoft : +1-888-994-7439

Your computer with the IP address 192.84.29.40 has been infected by the Trojans -- Because System Activation KEY has expired & Your information (for example, passwords, messages, and credit cards) have been stolen. Call Windows +1-888-994-7439 to protect your files and identity from further damage.

Call Microsoft : +1-888-994-7439 (Helpline)
Automatically report details of possible security incidents to Google. Privacy policy


support.windows.com says:
** Windows Warning Alert **
Malicious Pornographic Spyware/Riskware Detected
Error # 0x80092ee9

Please call us immediately Call Windows at: +1-888-994-7439 (Helpline)
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and riskware. The following information is being stolen...
Call Windows: +1-888-994-7439 (Helpline)

OK Cancel

Microsoft protected your PC
Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put

your PC at risk. Call Microsoft on +1-888-994-7439 (Helpline) .


Publisher: Unkonwn Publisher
App: windows10manager (1).exeRun anyway    Back to Safety

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Quick menu:

Adware removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Microsoft Warning Alert adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove adware from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Microsoft Warning Alert ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Microsoft Warning Alert ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the microsoft warning alert virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Microsoft Warning Alert  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Microsoft Warning Alert ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the microsoft warning alert virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Microsoft Warning Alert ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Microsoft Warning Alert ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with microsoft warning alert virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the microsoft warning alert virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove microsoft warning alert virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on microsoft warning alert virus or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Microsoft Warning Alert virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Microsoft Warning Alert virus on your mobile device.
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