Windows Is Resetting Itself POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Windows Is Resetting Itself" virus
Damage level: Medium

What is Windows Is Resetting Itself?

"Windows Is Resetting Itself" is a regular fake error similar to Comcast Cable Warning Alert, Do Not Ignore This Windows Alert, VIRUS ALERT FROM MICROSOFT, and many others. This error message is displayed by various malicious sites that users often visit inadvertently.

They are redirected by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) or intrusive ads delivered by other malicious sites. Research shows that, in most cases, potentially unwanted programs infiltrate systems without permission. As well as causing unwanted redirects, PUPs deliver intrusive ads, gather sensitive data, and even run unwanted background processes.

Windows Is Resetting Itself scam

This error claims that the system has been attacked by a type of malware and, for this reason, continually resets itself. This can result in permanent data loss and system corruption. For these reasons, users are encouraged to report this activity via a telephone number ("+1-800-269-5942") provided. Note that the "Windows Is Resetting Itself" error is a scam.

In fact, cyber criminals attempt to scare and trick unsuspecting users into calling and paying for tech support that is not required. All claims regarding computer infections are false.

Ignore the "Windows Is Resetting Itself" error - it can be removed simply by leaving the rogue site, however, in some cases, malicious sites employ scripts that prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows. In these cases, close the tab via Task Manager or simply reboot the system.

Note that after re-running the browser, you should not restore the previous session, otherwise the malicious sites are reopened.

As mentioned above, potentially unwanted programs deliver intrusive advertisements (coupons, banners, pop-ups, and so on) that are delivered using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, these ads are likely to conceal underlying content, significantly diminishing the browsing experience.

Furthermore, some can lead to potentially malicious websites and even execute scripts that download/install malware. Therefore, even accidental clicks might result in high-risk computer infections. Another significant issue is information tracking. PUPs often collect information that can be considered personal.

PUP developers share the collected data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), who misuse personal details to generate revenue. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking apps can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Some PUPs are also known to mine cryptocurrencies or run other unwanted processes in the background.

These programs essentially misuse system resources without permission, thereby significantly reducing overall performance. All potentially unwanted programs must be uninstalled immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Windows Is Resetting Itself" virus
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Research shows that there are hundreds of potentially unwanted programs, all of which are virtually identical. By offering "useful features", PUPs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, they are designed only to generate revenue for the developers, deliver no real value for regular users, and pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Some potentially unwanted programs have official download websites, however, due to the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users, PUPs often infiltrate systems without permission. Developers promote them using two methods: "bundling" and intrusive advertising.

"Bundling" is stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs with regular software/apps. Developers hide "bundled" programs within "Custom/Advanced" options or other sections of the download/installation processes. Many users rush these procedures and skip steps.

In addition, they often click dubious links/ads. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent system infiltration by PUPs, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Intrusive ads are designed to look legitimate, but they redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious sites.

As mentioned above, they are delivered by adware-type PUPs and, therefore, if you encounter suspicious redirects, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins.

Furthermore, carefully analyze each step (especially "Advanced/Custom" settings) of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. The key to computer safety is caution.

Text presented in "Windows Is Resetting Itself" scam-displaying website:

Due to repeated malware attack, windows is resetting itself.
You may lose your personal files on this computer
Your system data has been compromised.
Hackers may track your financial activities and get access to your personal files on this system
Please report this activity to +1-800-269-5942
Don't turn off your computer

The appearance of "Windows Is Resetting Itself" pop-up (GIF):

Windows Is Resetting Itself scam gif

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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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