Windows Health Is Critical Scam

Also Known As: "Windows Health Is Critical" virus
Damage level: Severe

What is "Windows Health Is Critical"?

Similar to Notice From Microsoft Corporation and Your Computer is locked !, "Windows Health Is Critical" is a fake error message distributed via malicious applications, fake downloads, software cracks, etc. Once infiltrated, "Windows Health Is Critical" locks the computer screen, thereby preventing any further action by the user.

Windows Health Is Critical scam

This error locks the screen and states that the system is in a critical state. To prevent further damage, victims are instructed to immediately contact 'technical support' via a toll-free telephone number ("+46101388486") provided. They then supposedly receive help in solving the issue.

Bear in mind, however, that, as mentioned above, the "Windows Health Is Critical" error message is scam. Cyber criminals generate revenue by scaring and tricking victims into calling, and paying for technical support that is not required. The "Windows Health Is Critical" error is a scam. Never attempt to contact these criminals using the aforementioned telephone number.

"Windows Health Is Critical" shares many similarities with Your Windows Is Infected, Suspicious Ransomware Activity, Unknown Security Breach, and tens of other fake error messages.

Unlike this error, most do not lock the screen and are displayed by malicious websites, which users often visit inadvertently (they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs [PUPs] that infiltrate systems during installation of regular software).

All fake error messages claim that the system is damaged in certain ways and have an identical purpose - to trick users into paying for technical support that is not required.

How did "Windows Health Is Critical" install on my computer?

Cyber criminals proliferate "Windows Health Is Critical" via fake software cracks and, potentially, by free malicious software that is presented as 'legitimate and useful'. Many users download and install various programs without ensuring that the selected apps are legitimate. This behavior often leads to high-risk computer infections.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Malicious software is mostly distributed using the "bundling" method (installation of third party apps with regular software/apps). Therefore, closely analyze each download/installation step and decline offers to download/install additional applications. Furthermore, never download programs from unofficial sources (for example, torrents, or free file hosting websites).

"Windows Health Is Critical" error message:

Fake windows error message:
Windows A problem has been detected.
Windows health is critical.
Please call technical support at: +46101388486 (toll free) to avoid system failure.

A variant of this scam that comes as a pop-up (tech support scammers are using +1-888-991-2301 phone number):

windows health is critical pop-up scam

Text presented within this pop-up scam:


WARNING! Your Windows has been blocked due to suspicious activity! Please call Support Now! Call Toll-Free +1-888-991-2301 To find the right solution

BSOD: Error 333 Registry Failure of operating system - Host: BLUE SCREEN ERROR 0x00000CE
Please Contact Microsoft Technicians at Toll Free: 1-888-991-2301
To Immediately Rectify issue to prevent Data Loss

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How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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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