System Support Alert POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "System Support Alert" virus
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

System Support Alert removal instructions

What is System Support Alert?

"System Support Alert" is a fake error message displayed by a number of malicious sites. It is very similar to Dangerous Try To Get Access To Your Personal Logins, This Build Of Windows 10 Is Corrupted, YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN BLOCKED, and many others. Users often visit these websites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) or intrusive advertisements displayed by other malicious sites. Research results show that PUPs typically infiltrate the system without a permission and, as well as causing redirects, deliver intrusive advertisements, gather sensitive information, and (sometimes) run unwanted background processes.

System Support Alert scam

This error states that system has detected suspicious activity and encourages users to immediately contact 'tech support' via a telephone number ("1-855-205-8313") provided. They will then supposedly receive instructions about how to resolve these issues. The "System Support Alert" error is fake and a scam. Developers generate revenue by scaring and tricking users into paying for tech support that is not required. In other words, they abuse users' trust. Therefore, "System Support Alert" should be ignored. Never call the aforementioned telephone number. This error can be removed simply by closing the web browser, however, since some sites employ scripts designed to prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows, we advise you to terminate the browser using Task Manager, or simply reboot the system. After re-running the browser, do not restore previous sessions, otherwise you will reopen the malicious sites.

As mentioned above, potentially unwanted programs deliver various intrusive ads (e.g., coupons, banners, etc.) These are delivered using various tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, intrusive advertisements often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, some lead to malicious sites and might even run scripts that stealthily download and install malware. Therefore, clicking these ads can lead to high-risk computer infections. Another important downside is information tracking. Research shows that many PUPs gather information such as IP addresses, geo-locations, websites visited, pages viewed, keystrokes, and so on. This collected information might contain personal details that are shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private data. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking applications can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. PUPs are also designed to mine cryptocurrencies or run other unwanted processes without permission. By stealthily misusing system resources, PUPs significantly reduce overall system performance. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to eliminate all PUPs immediately.

"System Support Alert" shares many similarities with dozens of other fake errors. All claim that the system is damaged (e.g., infected, missing files, etc.), however, these claims are merely attempts to extort money from unsuspecting users. All potentially unwanted programs are very similar. By offering "useful features", they attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, PUPs are designed only to help developers generate passive revenue. Rather than enabling the functions promised, PUPs pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Some PUPs have official download websites, however, most are distributed using "bundling" and intrusive advertising methods. "Bundling" is stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) together with regular software. Developers hide "bundled" programs within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Many users rush download/installation processes and skip steps. In addition, they click various "tempting" ads/links without understanding the possible consequences. 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 extremely cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Bear in mind that developers invest many resources into intrusive ad design, thereby making them seem legitimate, however, the ads redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious sites. As mentioned above, they are typically delivered by adware-type PUPs. Therefore, if you encounter them, immediately remove all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Download your applications from official sources only, using direct download links, rather than third party downloaders/installers. These tools are monetized by promoting potentially unwanted programs, and thus should never be used. The key to computer safety is caution.

Text presented in "System Support Alert" pop-up:

System Support Alert
Your system detected some unusual activity.
It might harm your computer data and track your financial activities.
Please report this activity to 1-855-205-8313

The appearance of "System Support Alert" pop-up (GIF):

System Support Alert scam gif

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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

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.

System Support 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 rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

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

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions 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 rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "system support 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 rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

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

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "system support 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 rogue extensions 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 rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "system support 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 logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset 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 "system support alert" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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